Roquette chews on positive EFSA gum opinions

Polyol suppliers are smiling about positive EFSA sugar-free gum opinions

French supplier Roquette is hailing the potential of polyols to boost dental health, following recent article 14 positive opinions for sugar-free gum from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

“The recent green light given by EFSA to chewing gums with no added sugars containing polyols (used as bulk sweeteners) backs up research carried out by Roquette,” the company said.

“Furthermore, recent studies conducted by Roquette can give further support to the opinions expressed by EFSA.”

Responding to two disease reduction submission from gum giant Wrigley, EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) found xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol-based sugar-free chewing gum could neutralise dental plaque and reduce tooth demineralisation and that both could reduce the risk of dental caries.

This positive opinion follows an earlier endorsement by EFSA in 2008 for a claim submitted by the Dutch and Finnish group Leaf Holland that xylitol-sweetened chewing gum was beneficial to dental health. Positive article 13, generic, dental health claims also exist for sugar-free chewing gum consumed after meals.

Polyol selection

Roquette said while the NDA opinions highlighted xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol, evidence showed other polyols could deliver similar effects.

“Even if until now it is xylitol that has been the most studied for its dental properties, it would appear – according to the recent opinions expressed by EFSA – that the benefits for dental health are unconnected with the type of polyol used,” Roquette said.

Company spokesperson Emily Lauwaert told NutraIngredients no decision had been taken about whether it would submit a claim for the polyol it specialises in – maltitol.

Roquette pointed to research that showed there was little difference in remineralisation of enamel between maltitol and xylitol (Food Science and Biotechnology, 2009, 18(2): 432-435).

Saliva parameters (secretion, pH and composition) and the dental plaque parameters (build-up, pH and composition) were also similar.

“In point of fact, the benefits observed for the aforementioned parameters were more pronounced for the chewing gums with maltitol or xylitol than with a gum base without polyols.”

In the Wrigley opinions, the NDA found that in order to obtain the claimed effect, two to three grams of sugar-free chewing gum should be chewed for 20 minutes at least three times per day after meals. "This quantity and pattern of use of chewing gum can easily be included within a balanced diet," it added.

The Panel noted there is a risk of osmotic diarrhoea at excessive intakes of polyols. It cautioned that the use of chewing gum should be avoided in children less than three due to potential for choking.

Those opinions can be found here and here.

NutraIngredients health claims 2010


All things health claims will be discussed at the second NutraIngredients Health Claims 2010 conference to be held in Brussels on December 1. The conference will deconstruct the latest article 13.1 claim opinions, hear first-hand experience from players like Kellogg’s, outline regulation-coping marketing strategies, and feature comparison with the US claims system from leading industry figure, Dr Andrew Shao.


For more details click here.

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