Interested in developing foods with health claims? Let PATHWAY-27 guide you


At the 5th FoodOmics conference, researchers from the EU funded PATHWAY-27 FP7 project presented their newly released comprehensive and practical guidelines for the development of products with health claims. Developed in close collaboration with stakeholders, the guidelines will help all those with an interest in health claims applications.
Health is one of the key drivers of consumer food choice. Products carrying a health claim may increase the intention to purchase, and the novelty of such products allows manufacturers to gain a greater profit margin than from a ‘commodity’ product.
The European Food Safety Authority provides guidance documents to support health claim applicants; however, the success rate of submitted applications has been disappointingly low. To help remedy this situation, PATHWAY-27 developed the following guidelines and recommendations:
Scientific Guidelines for the substantiation of health benefits from a (bioactive-enriched) food. These guidelines explain how to assess the scientific evidence and how to design and conduct human intervention studies when the existing knowledge is insufficient to support the claim of interest.
Industry Guidelines and Recommendations for developing products with health claims, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These guidelines offer a structured product development approach addressing all aspects that SMEs and their suppliers of material, knowledge and related services should consider when designing products for health claim application in Europe.
Furthermore, a third guideline for nutritional intervention studies on bioactive-enriched foods effectiveness is under development.
With these guidelines, the PATHWAY-27 consortium aims to increase the innovation potential and competitiveness of food SMEs and to support the scientific community in generating high-quality evidence for health claims dossiers.
In the next days the PATHWAY-27 Scientific and Industry Guidelines will be uploaded in the project website ( and it will be possible to download them free of charge.
“We hope that the food industry will make ample use of the freely available guidance produced by PATHWAY-27, so that future health claims applications are more successful“, comments Prof. Alessandra Bordoni from the University of Bologna who coordinated the project.
Note to editors: The PATHWAY-27 project ( started in 2013 with the aim to better understand the physiological effects and mechanism of action of certain bioactive compounds and to develop bioactive-enriched foods with scientifically demonstrated impact on health, especially the Metabolic Syndrome. The project consortium includes 25 partners (universities, research institutes and SMEs) from all over Europe.

AINIA contributes in several activities: To formulate the bioactive enriched food (BEF) in bakery matrix
In Pathway-27, ainia contributes in several activities: to formulate the bioactive enriched food (BEF) in bakery matrix, bioavailability studies through in vitro dynamic digestor, chemical analysis of the DHA in all BEFs, to elucidate the role and mechanism of action of bioactives (docosahexaenoic acid – DHA, beta-glucan – BG, and anthocyanins – AC) by in vitro studies on cell lines of hepatocytes (study the effect on the insulin resistance), to set up the digital dissemination channels and procedures, to contribute in the development of the industry and scientific guidelines, to manage the project blog and to disseminate the results and to technological transfer.
Ainia is a technological research centre focused in the agro-food sector and related industries with almost 1000 associated companies. Ainia’s mission is to promote research and technological development in the agro-food sector, to increase the quality of production, improve competitiveness and promote modernisation and diversification in the agro-food industries, through the execution of scientific research projects and public or private technological development.


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