Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the food industry was seeing increasing consumer interest in products marketed with Health and Wellbeing benefits. This level of interest has increased dramatically, especially with respect to products seen to confer immunity benefits.
Having a healthy diet could be an important factor, but only one of many, in determining the outcome for individuals should they become infected with SARS-CoV-2.
As food businesses start to consider this potential opportunity, it is important to base product development and marketing decisions on sound science and a clear understanding of nutrition and health claims regulations, there are a lot of myths out there!
For more information:
The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) is a charity which seeks to give sound impartial advice and disseminate and publish the results of nutrition research. The key points from their guidance on nutrition and COVID-19 are:
- No food or food supplement can protect you from getting the coronavirus (COVID-19)
- A wide range of nutrients are implicated in general immunity - suggesting that a healthy, balanced and varied diet is more important than any single substance.
Nutrition and Health Claims on Food
Also keep in mind the regulatory requirements when making nutrition or health claims for food or food supplement products, in particular The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.
Any claim made on a food's labelling, presentation or advertising must be clear, accurate and based on scientific evidence. Only pre-approved permitted nutrition and health claims can be made.
Useful links below:
- UK Food Standards Agency training on making Nutrition & Health Claims for food
- EFSA explanation of food nutrition and health claims assessment and approval
- Food Safety Authority Ireland guidance to EU Nutrition and Health claims on food