has concluded its deliberations on a generic health claim for for
LC n-3 PUFA and heart health. The claim may now be applied to appropriate
foods under the conditions set out in the following report.
generic health claim:
3g weekly, or 0.45g daily, long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated
fatty acids, as part of a healthy lifestyle, helps maintain
totality of the evidence substantiates the health claim:
The claim relates only to very long chain polyunsaturated fatty
acids (of chain length 20 carbons or above) including EPA, DPA
and DHA (i.e. 20:3n-3, 20:4n-3, 20:5n-3, 22:5n-3 and 22:6n-3),
and not all long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as
alpha-linolenic acid (i.e. 18:3n-3 and 18:4n-3). The ratio of
EPA and DHA should reflect that which occurs naturally in oily
Products carrying the claim should:
the statement: The Government advises that at least
2 servings of fish, one of which should be oily, containing
approximately 3g LC n-3 PUFA, is consumed each week.
fortified foods and supplements, inform consumers that oil-rich
fish is an alternative source of LC n-3 PUFA.
a product is presented as a stand alone serving, then each
serving must contain no less than 0.2g LC n-3 PUFA.
a product carries a recommendation for a number of portions
per day or week then
- the total LC n-3 PUFA content of the daily recommendation
(daily serving) must be greater than 0.2g.
- the total LC n-3 PUFA content of the weekly recommendation
(weekly serving) must be greater than 0.5g.
personalise the claim to the individual, e.g. "provides
half your daily needs".
the proportion (i.e. a quarter, third,
half etc) of the 0.45g daily intake, or 3g weekly
intake, in each serving or portion.
the distinction between servings of a product and portions
of oily fish.
to consumers when products have been fortified with LC n-3
PUFA and make clear to consumers the origin of the oil.
containing significant amounts of contaminants (identified
by the SACN/COT Inter-Committee Subgroup to be marlin, swordfish,
shark and, to a lesser extent, tuna) carrying the claim should
also carry a warning for pregnant women and children.
The JHCI Code states that health claims that could encourage
high levels of consumption must not be made for any substances
where there is evidence that high intakes of the food or substance
could be harmful or unlikely to contribute to a healthy diet
(refer section 6.2.16). JHCI advises that products carrying
the claim should make a positive contribution to healthy eating.
Products high in saturated fatty acids, salt, sugar etc should
therefore not be promoted on this basis.
The JHCI strongly recommends that companies seek advice from
the Secretariat before using this claim to help ensure that
the food product is consistent with good nutrition principles
and complies with the JHCI Code of Practice for Health Claims
The wording of the claim has been carefully formulated to reflect
the evidence on which the claim has been approved. Wording may
be altered, in consultation with the JHCI, as long as the claim
does not imply health benefits beyond the scope of the evidence
change the meaning of the claim; or, confuse consumers.
of the use of nutrient content claims on food labels is beyond the
remit of JHCI, therefore appropriate legal advice must be sought
by those wishing to use such claims. However, the JHCI Expert Committee
considered, from a scientific basis, that nutrient content claims
could be substantiated as follows and recommended that it be made
clear to consumers when these claims were in relation to the daily
amount or weekly amount:
on a weekly intake amount:
good source of the weekly intake = at least 1/6th of 3g
LC n-3 PUFA per week
rich source of the weekly intake = at least 1/2 of 3g LC
n-3 PUFA per week
on a daily intake amount:
rich source of the daily intake = at least 1/2 of 0.45g
LC n-3 PUFA per day
Quantification of nutrient content claims should be reported to
the nearest 0.1g/100g, so not to imply a higher level of precision
Omega-3 Dossier (pdf)
Omega -3 Resubmission: