Understanding the system of health claims in Japan
The Food with Health Claims system was founded to allow the sale of food displaying a health claim as long as it meets certain safety and efficacy standards designated exclusively for health foods. Depending on the purpose and function of the food product, it can be divided into one of the three groups:
- Foods for Specified Health Uses.
- Foods with Nutrient Function Claims.
- Foods with Function Claims.
Understanding Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU)
These are food products with effects on maintaining and improving health which have been scientifically verified and have been permitted to make health claims. The Japanese government evaluates the effects and safety of each product and authorises the claims.
Understanding Foods with Nutrient Claims (FNC)
These are food products intended for use as a nutritional supplement (vitamins, minerals, etc). As long as it is in accordance with criteria and wording specified by the government, functional claims can be made without submitting an application.
Understanding Foods with Function Claims (FCC)
Introduced in 2015, the FCC allows companies to display the health benefits of the food on the packaging, as long as the benefits are based on scientific evidence. The difference between the FOSHU and the FFC registration is that for the FOSHU, a sample of the product first needs to be examined and approved by the CAA.