Spain: recommendations on probiotics

In October 2020, the Spanish Authorities (AESAN) published recommendations on the use of probiotics in food.

In the absence of lists of authorized probiotics, they can be used in food, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 178/2002. The EFSA QPS list is taken as a reference for the safe use of probiotics in food products.

Regarding communication, all Article 13 health claim submissions were unfavorable, with the exception of the following authorized claim for Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus in yogurt or fermented milk: “Live cultures in yoghurt or fermented milk improve lactose digestion of the product in individuals who have difficulty digesting lactose”.

However, many food supplements placed on the Spanish market contain the term “probiotic(s)”, these products authorized in other EU countries, being marketed in Spain, in application of the principle of mutual recognition. Given the lack of harmonization at European level on the use of the term “probiotic (s)”, AESAN accepts the use of this term “probiotic (s)” on the labels of food products marketed in Spain while specifying that this term cannot be accompanied by any health claim.