“almost any carbohydrate-containing food would induce a reduction of post-prandial blood glucose responses"

EFSA rejects Fazer rye bread health claim

By Shane STARLING contact

- Last updated on GMT

High-fiber sourdough rye bread & reduced glycaemic response: Cause and effect? Yes. Health claim? No...
High-fiber sourdough rye bread & reduced glycaemic response: Cause and effect? Yes. Health claim? No...

Related tags: Carbohydrate, Nutrition, Sugar

EFSA has agreed ‘high-fiber sourdough rye bread’ may significantly reduce post-prandial glycaemic and insulin response compared to glucose, but refused a health claim from Fazer in Finland because all foods would have the same effect in comparison to the sugar.

It also said rye bread was not a typical substitute for glucose.

The sought after claim stated Fazer's high-fibre sourdough rye bread, when consumed at 100 g per day, “contributes to a reduction of glycemic response accompanied with a decreased insulin response after a meal”.

Fazer must have felt confident given the presence of six human intervention trials that showed a significant effect relating to a bread VP of corporate affairs, Leena Majamäki, previously told us was manufactured by a, “special manufacturing process.”

But in the article 13.5 (for emerging and proprietary science) opinion, EFSA’s health claims panel found, “that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of almost any food and a reduction of post-prandial blood glucose responses as compared with glucose.”

Previous NDA glycaemic positive opinions

  • Sugars (e.g. fructose) intended to replace other sugars (e.g. glucose, sucrose) within the same food/beverage (EFSA NDA Panel, 2011b).
  • Food/constituents with no effect or a reduced effect on post-prandial blood glucose responses (e.g. non/low-digestible carbohydrates, intense sweeteners and sugar alcohols) intended to replace food/constituents (e.g. sugars, other digestible carbohydrates) with an independent role in increasing post-prandial glycaemic responses within the same food/beverage (EFSA NDA Panel, 2011c, d, g, h, 2014).
  • Food/constituents (e.g. different types of dietary fibre) which, when present in carbohydrate-containing foods, could reduce post-prandial blood glucose responses to such foods by, for example, decreasing the rate of absorption of available carbohydrates. In these cases, the reference food/beverage was the test food/beverage without the food/constituent for which the claim was made (EFSA NDA Panel, 2010a, b, 2011e, f, 2012).

Not unusual

It took the view that although the effect was demonstrated, there was nothing special about rye bread in terms of its ability moderate blood sugar spiking after meals (as measured by the glycaemic index which scales foods on their glycaemic potency).

It then finished by saying that because high-fiber sourdough rye bread was not typically a glucose solution substitute, that no conditions of use could be conceived.

The application targeted healthy adults and those with impaired glucose tolerance.

Fazer was not available for comment at the time of publication but has 30 days to appeal the opinion which is here​.

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