The annex of nutrition claims permitted under the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation will be reviewed in the third quarter of this year, raising hopes that some glaring omissions in the list could be addressed.
The news has been welcomed by manufacturers, which have been lobbying for months to secure additions to the annex, which currently contains no reference to 'energy', or 'high energy' claims, or other frequently-used terms such as 'low-GI' (glycaemic index) and 'cholesterol-free'. These will be banned unless the annex is extended.
Manufacturers are also hoping that the European Commission will change the criteria laid out in the annex for making reduced fat, salt and sugar claims.
As it stands, only firms achieving 30% reductions in fat or sugar or 25% reductions in salt, can make 'reduced' claims on pack, which is unrealistic and counterproductive, said one industry source. "Making 25-30% reductions in one go is not realistic for many products. But if you make smaller changes, you can't make a claim. You could spend a fortune reducing fat by 28%. But if you can't claim it, what's the point?"