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News

Potential for four EFSA health claims for tomato products

17/12/2020 - Press release , Sophie Colvine
Historic research delivers 4 x EFSA health claims for tomato products and a fifth on its way. An early festive gift to tomato lovers everywhere.

Results from a research programme, organised and sponsored by The Tomato Foundation, show that many everyday tomato products immediately qualify for 4 x EFSA health claims. 
 
The research was carried out at the laboratories of SSICA in Parma earlier this year, looking at a list of 39 separate compounds. The Foundation’s global collaboration included 32 separate entities, companies and organisations. Over 100 factory samples, each in triplicate, were tested from 14 countries around the world. Samples were taken from all categories of tomato products including cold break and hot break tomato paste and a broad range of everyday popular consumer tomato products like ready pasta sauces, passata, puree and juice.
 
This is the first time that tomato products have qualified for EFSA health claims without the need for further research or human trials. For products that have been certified, these health claims can be used right now. The results relate to vascular, cell, muscle and neural health. A fifth EFSA health claim is being worked on for optimised blood flow and anti-thrombotic function. The early results from the Tomato Foundation research show high levels of the compounds in tomato products known to improve blood flow. 
 
Tomato Foundation founder, David Sutherland stated “The results are very strong and clearly show high concentrations of the compounds that reduce blood platelet aggregation in the same way Aspirin does, but without the nasty side effects.”  
 
The Tomato Foundation is a research and diet advocacy Non-Governmental Organisation aiming to promote consumption of a much higher percentage of plant-based ingredients in a healthy diet. Their mission is to improve public health and address planetary sustainability priorities, especially climate change. The goal of the study is to highlight the potent nutritional payload of universally recognised plant-based ingredients and the immediate positive health effects they have.
 
David further stated “The Foundation’s work is for the benefit of consumers. Tomato products are recognised everywhere and consumed as part of almost every culinary culture. Qualifying for EFSA health claims is a powerful message for consumers because it proves the truth about tomato products independently of the food industry. Imagine how that changes people's perceptions and how they will look at humble, everyday tomato products instead as potent superfoods that protect their health, as well as being tasty, delicious, colourful, versatile ingredients.”  
 
The Tomato Foundation aims to continue the research towards a fifth EFSA health claim for improved blood flow next year and is seeking broader food industry collaboration and economic support from the European Commission. Further reporting will be provided as this study continues.
 
In the United States, the research results will validate usage of FDA health claims and FDA health and nutrition labelling.
 
Written by Tanya Maymay from the Tomato Foundation. Contact: Aloha@tomatofoundation.org 


Tomato News and The Tomato Foundation will organise a free webinar in January 2021 to present the research results and what they mean for the tomato processing industry. 
 
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