New protein sources are being discovered. Plant-based proteins, e.g. proteins derived from whey, hemp, pea, and rice, among others, have received attention in 2016. Also, insects as a new source of protein were in the spotlight for the first time.
Personalization of product is an ongoing trend. Also, products targeted to individual consumers based on genetic makeup or gut microbiome composition were rising.
In this context, probiotics and fermented foods received much attention. Several studies examining the effects of probiotics were published in 2016, bolstering support for the bacteria’s benefits in categories such as sports nutrition, oral health, cognitive health, and more. Internationally, probiotics met some challenges in 2016, including elimination of the term “probiotic” from product labels in Europe.
The 2016 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements found that the five most popular supplements are multivitamins, vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin B complex.
The top health trends in 2016 were heart health, cognition, digestion, healthy aging, and personalized nutrition. Other growing trends were clean label, natural, and convenience.
Movement on the front of the evaluation of the long-pending botanical health claim applications is expected for the next year; this development already sent strong impulses in 2016.
Caffeine health claims were not approved by EU Commission despite EFSA issuing a positive opinion in 2014.
A basic agreement on the new Medical Device Regulation between EU Council EU Commission and the EU Parliament has been reached. There are still some minor issues, but it is expected now that the regulation will come into force in mid 2017. It will include Rule 21, which concerns substance-based medical devices; probiotics are basically excluded from being Medical Devices.
The New Food for Special Groups (FSG) regulation came into force on 20 July 2016; the delegated regulation on FSMP has been finalized: In total this will restrict innovative products (of which there are many in Germany) in this category.
Several key regulatory developments happened in the USA, including FDA new dietary ingredient (NDI) draft guidance, the US federal genetically modified organism (GMO) labelling bill, and the updated US Nutrition Facts label for both foods and supplements.
And finally, the guidance on the preparation and presentation of an application for authorisation of a novel food and on the preparation and presentation of the notification and application for authorisation of traditional foods from third countries in the context of Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 were published in the November issue of the EFSA Journal.