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Short-chain FOS from sucrose and normal defecation


EFSA Panel on EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)

Following an application from Beghin-Meiji and Tereos Syral, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA Panel) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) from sucrose and maintenance of normal defecation. The food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is scFOS from sucrose. The Panel considers that scFOS from sucrose is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect proposed by the applicant is ‘maintaining normal intestinal transit regularity by increasing stool frequency’. The target population proposed by the applicant is the general population. Upon a request from EFSA, the applicant confirmed that the proposed claimed effect refers to maintenance of normal defecation. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal defecation is a beneficial physiological effect. The Panel considers that one human intervention study did not show an effect of scFOS from sucrose at a dose of 5.7 g/day for 4 weeks on defecation frequency, consistency of stools or dry faecal mass and that in two other human intervention studies 10 g/day of scFOS increased faecal bulk, whereas higher amounts (12.5 g/day) consumed for shorter period did not. Although a number of studies provided some evidence that scFOS are fermented in the colon and increase bacterial mass and faecal bulk, the information provided does not demonstrate that the changes in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) or bile acids induced by scFOS lead to significant changes in the frequency of stools. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of scFOS from sucrose and maintenance of normal defecation under proposed conditions of use.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2016

Short-chain FOS from sucrose and normal defecation

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