Blog: Dean BestNestle opens clinical site to shore up health claims

Dean Best | 7 June 2012

Consumer interest in healthier products continues to grow but companies wanting to put health claims on their products face strict regulatory processes and, as some high-profile examples have shown in recent years, getting approval is not easy. Nestle hopes a new central clinical unit will provide it with the evidence it needs to show its products can deliver particular benefits.

The world's largest food manufacturer is bringing its global clinical trials programme under one roof at a new facility in Lausanne in Switzerland.

The company said its "clinical development unit" would help it "more effectively and efficently evaluate the impact of its foods and ingredients on human biology and health, as well as on taste and pleasure".

Werner Bauer, chief technology officer at Nestle, said: "Our clinical development work ultimately provides the scientific evidence as to whether our ingredients, new products, and product reformulations are effective in delivering consumer benefits."

The new facility, on which you can read more here, houses a "metabolic unit" for metabolic studies in healthy people. It will also look at health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Nestle's work comes amid growing consumer interest in healthier products. However, that interest means regulators are keen any product purporting to improve health has the science to back up its claims.

Regulators, particularly in the EU, have scrutinised health claims very closely, much to the frustration of some in the industry.

Nevertheless, regulators need to ensure manufacturers have robust science to support their claims and ensure what they are selling to consumers does, to co-opt a famous UK advertising slogan, what it does on the tin.


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