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'Complex carbohydrates' don't contribute to satiety, rules EFSA

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has dismissed a health claim application suggesting 'complex carbohydrates' have a beneficial effect on infants and young children by increasing satiety.

The article 14 health claims application was submitted to EFSA by Specialised Nutrition Europe (formerly IDACE) via French authorities - suggesting that complex carbohydrates “contribute to satiety” in infants and young children (from birth to three years of age), and therefore could be used as a health claim relating to children’s development and health.

However, a scientific opinion from the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has delivered a negative opinion on the submission, with the panel noting there is not enough evidence to claim that an increase in satiety is a beneficial health effect for young children, and that there is not enough evidence to claim that 'complex carbohydrates' could even increase satiety.

"The Panel considers that the information provided by the applicant does not establish that an increase in satiety is a beneficial physiological effect for infants and young children," states the EFSA opinion - adding that "a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of 'complex carbohydrates' and a beneficial physiological effect for infants and young children in the context of this application."

Complex carbohydrates?

EFSA also stated that the opinion does not constitute, "and cannot be construed as, an authorisation for the marketing of the term 'complex carbohydrates'."

The science agency also warned that the opinion does not constitute 'a positive assessment' of its safety, "nor a decision on whether 'complex carbohydrates' is, or is not, classified as a foodstuff."

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