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Frutalose, a mixture of fructans obtained from enzymatic hydrolysis of chicory inulin, and normal defecation: evaluation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Following an application from Sensus B.V. (Royal Cosun), submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of the Netherlands, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to Frutalose® and maintenance of normal defecation. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim based on newly developed scientific evidence. The Panel considers that Frutalose®, a mixture of fructans obtained from enzymatic hydrolysis of chicory inulin, is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect proposed by the applicant is ‘contributes to regular bowel function by increasing stool frequency’. The proposed target population is ‘the general healthy adult population’. Maintenance of normal defecation is a beneficial physiological effect provided that it does not result in diarrhoea. One human intervention study showed an effect of Frutalose® on the maintenance of normal defecation by increasing stool frequency and improving stool consistency (softer stools) when consumed daily at a dose of 15 g for 8 weeks. The results have not been replicated in other studies. There is a plausible mechanism by which Frutalose® could exert the claimed effect. The Panel concludes that the evidence provided is insufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of Frutalose® and maintenance of normal defecation under the proposed conditions of use.

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