A positive opinion from EFSA on a health claim: kiwi and transit

The 11th June 2021, EFSA has published an uncommon position on a health claim application, with a positive opinion for an application related to the gastrointestinal benefits of kiwifruit. This application has been submitted by Zespri International Limited. The applicant requested a claim on kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa var. Hayward) and the maintenance of normal defecation.

EFSA considered that kiwifruit was sufficiently characterized, and that maintenance of normal defecation is a beneficial physiological effect, provided that it does not result in diarrhea. The applicant provided 18 human intervention studies (14 published and 4 unpublished) and one systematic review for the scientific substantiation of the claim. Studies were conducted either in healthy subjects or in subjects with constipation. EFSA considered that results of only 6 studies can be used to draw conclusions for the scientific substantiation of the claim. Interestingly, EFSA indicated that all human intervention studies submitted had different limitations and could not be used on their own for the scientific substantiation of the claim. However, the six pertinent studies provided consistent results, leading to the positive opinion.

In conclusion, EFSA proposed the following wording for this claim targeting the general population: ‘consumption of kiwifruit contributes to the maintenance of normal defecation’. In order to obtain the claimed effect, two large green kiwifruit (i.e. around 200 g of kiwi flesh) should be consumed.

EFSA NDA Panel (EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens),Turck D, Castenmiller J, De Henauw S, Hirsch-Ernst KI, Kearney J, Knutsen HK, Maciuk A, MangelsdorfI, McArdle HJ, Naska A, Pelaez C, Pentieva K, Thies F, Tsabouri S, Vinceti M, Bresson J-L and Siani A,2021. Opinion of the scientific panel on green kiwifruit (lat. Actinidia deliciosa var. Hayward) and maintenance of normal defecation: evaluation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal 2021;19(6):66 41, 12 pp.

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