The increasing overlap between foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (“PARNUTs”), including sports foods or “foods intended for the expenditure of intense muscular effort, especially for sportsmen” and other categories of food, including food supplements is at the origin of the recent abolition of the whole category of PARNUTs and its replacement by Regulation 609/2013 on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control, which will be applicable from July 20, 2016
SPECIAL NUTRITION FOOD
There is no EU-wide definition of sport food, or what compositional or labelling requirements sport foods should comply with (except from the general framework set forth in Directive 2009/39 on PARNUTs).
As a consequence of the lack of EU-wide harmonization, EU Member States do not follow a uniform interpretation of borderline issues around sport foods (for example, when a product is a sport food and when it is a food supplement), and a case by case analysis and strategy for each product is recommended prior to placing sport foods on the EU market.
Examples of sports foods include protein bars supporting muscle building and fast recovery; amino-acids supplements to meet the expenditure of intense muscular effort or carbohydrate gel with extra sodium to compensate sweat loss.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT FOODS
Commission Directive 96/8/EC of 26 February 1996 on foods intended for use in energy-restricted diets for weight reduction lays down compositional and labelling requirements for foods presented for use in energy restricted diets that are total daily diet replacement or individual meal replacement for weight control. The claims that may be made on these types of products are very limited.
Regulation 609/2013 will enter into force on July 20, 2016, and will apply only to products on the total diet replacement for weight control (also known as low calorie and very low calorie diets). The Commission must also adopt specific measure detailing compositional and labelling rules for these products.
FOODS FOR SPECIAL MEDICAL PURPOSES
These foods are intended for the exclusive or partial feeding of people whose nutritional requirements cannot be met by normal foods.
Commission Directive 1999/21/EC on dietary foods for special medical purposes (as amended by Directive 2006/141/EC) sets out rules for the composition and labelling of foods that are specifically formulated, processed and intended for the dietary management of diseases, disorders or medical conditions of individuals who are being treated under medical supervision.