Food Supplements and Other Foodstuff

Foodstuffs generally refers to any substance that is intended to be consumed by humans for nutrition or enjoyment.

In the UK and EU, general foodstuff, and subsequent categories such as food supplements, foods for special groups or fortified foods, is regulated by food law in terms of composition, safety, health benefits and presentation to the final consumer.

Some of the regulated foods, including ingredients such as food additives, may require national notifications before being placed on the market.

Health Food Food Supplements

The JensonR+ team is available to assist you from the product concept stages to the market access and post-marketing challenges you may encounter. Our experienced team will be able to provide practical solutions for foodstuff product development and ingredient selection, label presentation, market placement, commercial barriers, regulation interpretation or answer questions regarding the correct product category, including novel status.

JensonR+ will work closely with trade associations and the wider regulanet® network to cover your global markets and provide tailored services based on your business needs, helping ensure compliance alongside a strong marketing opportunity.

UK & EU Services:

Food Supplements

  • Regulatory Compliance

  • Formulation Review

  • Category Determinations / Borderline Cases

  • Compliant Labelling

  • National Notifications

  • Post Market Surveillance (Nutravigilance)

  • Label Translations in EU Languages

  • Authority Communication

  • Novel Food Determinations and Registration

Other Foodstuff

  • Formulation Compliance

  • Claim Compliance and Substantiation

  • Label Reviews

  • Label Translation in EU Languages and more

  • Notifications: FSMP’s, Fortified Foods, Meal Replacement Products

  • Authority Communication

  • Novel Food Determinations and Registration

Business Support

  • Bespoke Training

  • Strategic Advice

  • Regulatory Updates

  • International Markets

  • Food Business Operator (FBO) Services – Provide UK/EU Address

Food Supplements in the UK

All food products in the UK, including food supplements are regulated under the general principles of food law and additionally, specific legislative texts may apply.

UK food laws set out:

  • General food law standards.
  • Legislations regarding the use of additives, enzymes, and flavourings
  • Legislation setting up acceptable limits of certain contaminants.
  • Legislation setting out labelling requirements and principles of presentation to the final consumer.
  • Legislation which covers the vitamins, minerals and specific messages which can or should be used in food supplements.

There is no one governing body covering foods and food supplements in the UK. The responsibilities are shared between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Additionally, the marketing of foods and food supplements may be scrutinised by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

Notifications in the UK

Currently, food supplements do not require notification to be sold in the UK, however, regulatory requirements are enforced locally by Trading Standards, after the products are placed on the market. It is essential to ensure compliance proactively and avoid challenges from local authorities, some of which may result in fines.

Food Supplements in the EU and the rest of Europe

Like the UK, food supplements in the EU are regulated by food law, set out EU wide by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and implemented through national law by each member state.

The key legislative text to be considered in the EU is Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on Food Information to Consumers which sets provisions regarding:

  1. General Food Labelling: The regulation establishes general principles for labelling food products, including requirements for the name of the food, the list of ingredients, allergen information, and the nutrition declaration.
  2. Allergen Labelling: It mandates clear labelling of allergenic ingredients in food products to help individuals with food allergies or intolerances make informed choices. These allergens must be highlighted in the list of ingredients.
  3. Nutrition Information: The regulation requires the provision of nutrition information on most prepackaged foods, including details about energy value and the amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrates, sugars, protein, and salt.
  4. Origin Labelling: Certain foods, such as fresh meat, poultry, and fish, must include information about their country of origin.
  5. Date Labelling: Clear date labelling is mandated for foods, including “use by” and “best before” dates, to ensure food safety and reduce food waste.
  6. Quantitative Ingredient Declarations (QUID): For certain ingredients, such as meat and fish in composite products, the regulation specifies rules for indicating their percentage in the final product.
  7. Food Additives: The presence of food additives, flavourings, and enzymes must be indicated on the label.
  8. Alcoholic Beverages: The regulation includes specific requirements for the labelling of alcoholic beverages regarding ingredients and nutrition information.
  9. Country of Origin: For certain products, including fresh meat from animals, origin labelling is required to inform consumers about the source of the product.
  10. Nutrition and Health Claims: The regulation sets out rules for the use of nutrition and health claims on food labels to prevent misleading or false claims.
  11. Online Sales: It also addresses the provision of information in the context of online sales and distance selling of food.

Specific requirements are further established for food supplements through DIRECTIVE 2002/46/EC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to food supplements.

Notifications in the EU

The majority of European countries have implemented a notification system for food supplements and other regulated products. Before placing it on the market, you must notify the national authorities by submitting various technical details about your product and a sample of the label.

Notifications are made in the national language of each country (some accept English) and they can often be challenging when feedback is received.

Countries with notification procedures in Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey.

Get in touch with us to find out more