The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked by the European Commission to review the scientific merits of claims proposed for addition to the annex of the law, still under debate by European officials.
EFSA's panel on dietetic products, nutrition and allergies approved all of the proposed claims, stipulating in each case which kinds of foods could carry the claims.
They include 'omega-3 fatty acid source', which must contain more than 15 per cent of the daily recommended nutritional intake (2g/day for an adult male) per 100g/100ml, and 'high in omega-3 fatty acids'. For this second claim the food must contain more than 30 per cent of the RNI.
Other nutrition claims that could be used include 'high monounsaturated fat', 'high polyunsaturated fat' and 'high unsaturated fat', each with specific conditions.
The claims, specifically those referring to 'omega-3 fatty acids', will be important as consumers become increasingly aware of the health benefits of these fats.
Claims making a direct reference to these health benefits, or 'health claims', have not yet been finalised by the Commission and are likly to be more eagerly awaited by many food makers than nutrition claims.
Europe's nutrition and health claims law is scheduled to go through a second reading in parliament at the end of the year. If passed, these nutrition claims would apply for all member states.
More information on the opinion can be found here.