Author(s): EFSA, Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies | Publication Year: 2011
The claimed effects are “dental health/sweeteners cannot be fermented by oral bacteria, they are non-cariogenic”, “foods which under typical conditions of use are neither cariogenic nor erosive, help maintain healthy teeth and are, therefore, toothfriendly”, and “dental health”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. In the context of the proposed wordings, conditions of use, and references provided, the Panel assumes that the claimed effects refer to the maintenance of tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation. The Panel considers that maintaining tooth mineralisation by reducing tooth demineralisation resulting from acid production in plaque caused by the fermentation of carbohydrates is a beneficial physiological effect, provided that it is not accompanied by tooth demineralisation resulting from erosive properties of a food.
A claim on the sugar replacers xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, lactitol, isomalt, erythritol, D-tagatose, isomaltulose, sucralose and polydextrose and maintenance of tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation has already been assessed with a favourable outcome. The Panel considers that the scientific substantiation and proposed conditions of use also apply to intense sweeteners.
In this scientific opinion on health claims, EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products Nutrition and Allergies concluded that there is sufficient scientific information to support the claims that intense sweeteners, as all sugar replacers, maintain tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation if consumed instead of sugars. Low calorie sweeteners are indeed tooth-friendly ingredients and their beneficial role in dental health is well established. Based on this scientific opinion by EFSA, the European Commission authorised the health claim that the consumption of foods containing low calorie sweeteners instead of sugar contributes to the maintenance of tooth mineralisation in 2012 (Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012, 16 May 2012).
Low calorie sweeteners are also frequently used in toothpaste, mouthwashes and fluoride supplements that assist dental hygiene.