Gelita has applied for a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Health Claim regarding the beauty from within collagen peptide Verisol and its beneficial effect on skin health. Motivation was to clarify whether effects related to wrinkle reduction and higher elasticity of the skin are classified as health functions and consequently need a health claim.
On June 20, EFSA published its scientific opinion regarding the 13.5 Verisol application. ESFA informed that they came to the conclusion that the effects measured in the studies (wrinkle reduction and skin elasticity) are not relevant to justify a health claim.
EFSA has evaluated Gelita’s dossier under the aspect of the European Health Claim legislation. This legislation makes it mandatory for any ingredient related to skin health to scientifically prove that a “skin health increasing functionality” is given. EFSA characterizes “functionality of the skin” as water barrier function.
According to Gelita, in two placebo- controlled, randomized clinical studies with a total subject number of more than 150, the regular intake of Collagen Peptides Verisol statistically significantly improves skin elasticity and reduces wrinkle depth with 2.5 g/day. However, both studies did not show a statistical significant effect on what EFSA defined as skin functionality.
For its part, EFSA did not negate that the studies have shown a significant improvement of skin elasticity and significant reduction of wrinkles. However, EFSA decided to report only those outcomes that were directly relevant for the claimed effect under assessment and did not comment on the positive results (elasticity/wrinkle reduction) as they do not consider them as “skin functions” and therefore not health claim relevant.
Claims that do not qualify as a health claim or a nutritional claim within the scope of Regulation No. 1924/2006 will be measured along the general rules. Those are laid down in Article 2 I of the Directive 2000/13/EC relating to the labeling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs and the respective national rules. The rules say that the labeling and marketing of a food must not be misleading particularly by attributing to the foodstuff effects or properties which it does not possess and which are not scientifically substantiated.
“Therefore, we believe that a beauty claim that does not suggest or imply that a relationship between the food and health does exist may be used if supported by strong and relevant scientific studies,” the company said, adding that this result makes Gelita confident that customers can promote the demonstrated and scientific proven Verisol benefits (statistical significantly increased skin elasticity and reduced wrinkles) under the respective food legislation.