Health Canada has ruled that Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)’s CardioAid plant sterols can now be used in food and beverage products for sale in Canada, up to approved levels.
Plant sterols – or phytosterols – occur naturally in plants. Research has show that they are effective in blocking cholesterol absorption in the body, and may help lower cholesterol when consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
“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,” says 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.”
Health Canada has confirmed that plant sterols can be added to mayonnaise, margarine, calorie-reduced margarine, yogurt and yogurt drinks, vegetable and fruit juices, salad dressing and unstandardized salad dressings and spreads. Health Canada has also issued a guidance regarding the use of health claims and the cholesterol lowing effect of plant sterols.
Accordingly, manufacturers can now use the following statement on products containing plant sterols: “[serving size from Nutrition Facts table in metric and common household measures] of [naming the product] provides X% of the daily amount of plant sterols shown to help reduce/lower cholesterol in adults.” One or both of the following statements may also be used adjacent to this primary statement: “Plant sterols help reduce [or help lower] cholesterol,” and “High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.”