Bakers Journal

Health Canada OKs use of plant sterols

June 23, 2010
By Bakers Journal

June 23, 2010 – Health Canada has issued a ruling that will allow Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) CardioAid plant sterols to be added to foods.

Health Canada’s confirmation will clear the way for manufacturers in Canada to add plant sterols to a variety of foods and beverages up to approved levels.

“Health-conscious consumers are seeking heart-healthy foods that may help lower cholesterol naturally when consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol,” said Scott Horton, ADM’s product manager for CardioAid plant sterols. “Manufacturers in Canada will soon be able to incorporate the benefits of CardioAid plant sterols into everyday foods and beverages without affecting taste.”

Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, occur naturally in plants and have been shown to be effective in blocking cholesterol absorption in the body, which may help lower cholesterol. Today, nearly 40 per cent of Canadian adults have high blood cholesterol levels, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

ADM introduced CardioAid plant sterols in the 1990s, and today offers the commercial product line globally in both powder and water-dispersible forms. The company’s worldwide agricultural supply chain and processing facilities allow ADM to provide customers with consistent, high-quality plant sterols.

Health Canada has confirmed that plant sterols may be added to the following foods: mayonnaise, margarine, calorie-reduced margarine, yogurt and yogurt drinks, vegetable and fruit juices, salad dressing and unstandardized salad dressings and spreads. ADM is available to assist customers seeking to expand the use of CardioAid plant sterols to additional categories.

Health Canada has also issued guidance concerning the use of health claims regarding the cholesterol lowering effect of plant sterols. The following statement may be used for foods meeting the qualifying criteria:

“[serving size from Nutrition Facts table in metric and common household measures] of [naming the product] provides X per cent of the daily amount of plant sterols shown to help reduce/lower cholesterol in adults.”

Health Canada has indicated that one or both of following statements may be used adjacent to the primary statement (above):

“Plant sterols help reduce [or help lower] cholesterol.” “High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.”

“These types of health claims point further to plant sterols’ ability to reduce or help lower cholesterol, thereby helping to reduce the risk of heart disease,” said Dr. Luis A. Mejia, ADM’s director of regulatory and scientific affairs.

Earlier this year, ADM received Novel Foods approval from the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China for the use of CardioAid plant sterols in China. This approval allows Chinese food manufacturers to use plant sterols in foods and beverages. In addition, ADM has received notice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that it has no objection to the inclusion of CardioAid in 19 food categories, the largest number of categories notified for any plant sterol currently on the market.

Print this page


Stories continue below