Photo of Christophe Leprêtre

Outcome of the last Codex alimentarius Committee setting standards in Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses, including “baby foods” (5-9 December 2017; Berlin, Germany): the last CCNFSDU made significant progresses on the revision of the existing standard on follow up formula on its  compositional requirements and paved the way for new guidelines to regulate foods ready-to-use in case of severe malnutrition in emergency situations (i.e. RUTFs).  The committee also discussed the definition of Biofortification and pushed back to next year the possible future development of Codex-specific nutrition profiles.

The Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) (i) agreed upon and advanced important revised provisions of the Codex Standard on follow-up formulas on composition requirements and considered other amendments on labelling sections and the preamble for further discussion, including the first – and historical – request for scientific advice to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization WHO) Joint Expert Meetings on Nutrition (JEMNU) on nitrogen-to-protein factors (soy and milk only); (ii) revised a list of methods of analysis for testing amounts of three nutrients in infant formulas; (iii) sent back for redrafting a possible specific mechanism or framework on how CCNFSDU shall consider the technological justifications for food additives used in foods for infant and young children; (iv) reviewed half of the proposed draft guidelines on ready-to-use foods for nutritionally deprived people (i.e. RUTFs); (v) postponed by one more year the consideration of developing Codex guidelines on Nutrition Profiling System(s); (vi) amended the proposed draft definition of “biofortification”, while pointing out the term shall be revisited; (vii) agreed to consider next year possible future work on harmonized probiotic guidelines for use in foods, including food supplements; (viii) made significant progress on defining future conditions for making a “free” of fatty acids nutrition claim but postponed future decision by one year; (ix) sent back the proposed nutritional reference value (NRV) for EPA and DHA for more in-depth scientific review while expanding the scope in revising some sections to the Annex of the General Principles for establishing NRVs for the general population, and (x) adopted other decisions.

Four issues were added to the agenda: nutrition profiles, probiotics, methods of analysis for infant formulas, and a fourth one, conversion factors for soy and milk protein, discussed “on-the-side”, at the time of the discussion but separate from the “protein” section of the follow up formula for older infants.

The next CCNFSDU meeting will be held in December 2018 in Germany.

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