October 23/ADP News Nordic -- Finnish food company Raisio Oyj said that the European Commission (EC) approved the cholesterol-lowering ingredient in the company's Benecol products -- plant stanol ester -- for the use of a disease risk reduction health claim under the Nutrition and Health Claim Regulation.
Raisio is now permitted to use the claim in the marketing of Benecol foods containing stanol ester, stating that plant stanol ester has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol and that high cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
This is the first authorization for a disease risk reduction claim granted to food products within the European Union (EU), Raisio noted.
For consumers, the introduction of approved health claims means that it will be easier to select food products with scientifically proven and validated effect.
Benecol is a global trademark owned by Raisio, and plant stanol ester is an ingredient patented worldwide by Raisio. Currently, Benecol products are sold in 30 countries on five continents.
From the October 26, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition