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Healthiest Meal

Is this the world’s healthiest meal- incorporating all EFSA-approved health claims?

Scientists at Leatherhead Food Research in the UK have come up with what could be described as the healthiest meal in the world, proven by science, and the menu looks pretty darn tasty.

The idea behind the project was to create a ‘mega-healthy’ airline meal that satisfied all 222 Article 13.1 health claims approved by the European Commission on 16 May.

It has taken almost five years for EFSA scientists to whittle down the 44 000 health claims received from member states to a final list of 222 claims. So, Leatherhead CEO Dr Paul Berryman challenged his team of scientific, regulatory and marketing experts to devise a meal that could make ALL 222 claims.

“It was great fun. I thought of the airline meal concept when flying back from Vitafoods in Geneva. I had spent three days talking about health claims and at a round table event I suggested that Leatherhead could make a product with all 222 claims, no problem! It wasn’t that simple, but we did it within one week!”

The meal is specially designed for long haul flights and is packed with minerals, vitamins and everything else that EFSA currently thinks is healthy.

It even includes charcoal tablets to reduce excessive flatulence (useful in the enclosed airplane cabin) and some sugar-free chewing gum to chew after the meal to freshen breath and neutralize plaque acids. The chewing also helps relieve pressure in the ears – but this isn’t an official health claim.

Named Leatherhead Airline Meal Formula 222, the meal consists of:

  • Fresh and Smoked Salmon Terrine – with ALA and DHA for brain and heart function
  • Mixed Leaf Side Salad with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dressing – for cholesterol claims
  • High Fibre Multigrain Bread Roll – for 17 claims around fibre, folate and arabinoxylan
  • Chicken Casserole with Lentils & Vegetables –  for iron absorption, vitamins and minerals
  • Live Yoghurt Blancmange – for cholesterol, gut health and blood glucose control
  • Cranberry, Raspberry & Elderflower Sports Drink – for energy, vitamins and electrolytes
  • Pure Spring Water – to offset dehydration

For those flyers watching their waistline, the pack includes mixed berry Meal Replacement Shakes, whilst jet lag sufferers can sip on a melatonin-containing Hot Chocolate drink to relieve their symptoms.

To illustrate the meal, Leatherhead has produced a poster with photos of the airline meal box and each component. It lists all 222 health claims showing which meal component makes which claim.

Berryman thinks that with the official list of 222 general health claims, it will be even more important for innovative food companies to establish new scientific evidence for future health claim applications under Article 13.5 or Article 14.

“Our airline formula is just an illustration of what we can do. Leatherhead Food Research is ideally placed to help companies make new claims through regulatory advice, product formulation and our state-of-the art human intervention studies”. He also warned that from 14 December 2012, any claims that are not authorised (and not on hold/under consideration) will be prohibited.

Follow the link to download a PDF of Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 which establishes a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health.

Follow the links to download high resolution graphics of the poster:


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