Food Supplement ingredients – Vitamins, minerals and other substances

Food Supplement ingredients – Vitamins, minerals and other substances

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are microelements indispensable to countless body functions, such as brain performance, blood pressure or digestion.

Using food supplements is a complementary way to raise our levels of those elements, normally obtained through a healthy diet. Citizens are becoming health-focused costumers, which heavily influences the food industry's importance in last decades.

Regulatory-wise, the EU Commission, supported by EFSA1, establishes maximum limits for vitamins and minerals in food supplements for different population groups, to ensure a correct daily intake that will not pose a risk of adverse health effects.

Annex I to the Directive 2002/46/EC frames the regulatory threshold, however, each EU Member State has the power to impose a stricter approachof any element, reducing the maximum levels

Additional vitamins and minerals may be considered for inclusion in the list following the evaluation of an appropriate scientific dossier concerning the safety and bioavailability of the individual substance by the European Food Safety Authority

Annex II to the above Directive contains a list of permitted sources for these vitamins and elements, which cannot be changed by the Member States.

Other substances:

Ingredients not included in any of the above-mentioned groups are classified as “other substances”.

Their use can be restricted or banned by the European Union following Regulation  1925/2006, in case scientific research finds an adverse effect on human health. If this is the case, they would be part of Annex III of the mentioned Regulation, listing them for public reference.

The absence of a specific restriction at aEU level, substances may be governed by national legislation in EU Member States.

Food additives specifically are regulated by Regulation EC 1333/2008, as they are recognized as not essential yet important ingredients in the food industry. They are also subject to national regulations, if applicable.

1 EFSA: European Food Safety Agency

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