The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has apparently concluded that scientific evidence supports an Article 13.5 health claim related to cocoa flavanols and normal blood flow. Submitted by chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut AG under Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, the health claim application cited several human intervention studies that evidently showed “a cause and effect relationship” “between the consumption of cocoa flavanols and maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation.” In particular, NDA noted that a person in the general population could obtain the claimed effect by consuming 200 milligrams of cocoa flavanols daily through either 2.5 grams (g) of high-flavanol cocoa powder or 10 g of high-flavanol dark chocolate, “both of which can be consumed in the context of a balanced diet.”  

The panel has thus approved the following wording as reflective of the scientific evidence: “Cocoa flavanols help maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which contributes to normal blood flow.” If approved by the European Commission, the new health claim can be used by the chocolate maker in the European Union for the next five years. See The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2012.