Kraft launched biscuit products under its Liga brand in May containing CreaNutrition's Oatwell oat beta-glucan ingredient and is utilising claims CreaNutriton won approval for from the Netherlands Nutrition Centre earlier this year. The Netherlands Nutrition Centre (NNC) is a government agency that performs functions similar to the Food Standards Agency in the UK, including assessing health claims. CreaNutriton has submitted a number of claims to the body in recent years in areas such as cereals and breads. The latest set of claims relate to specific biscuit and crisp products, muesli and cereal bars, which is required under the proprietary, product-by-product Dutch system. More generic claims are available in other European Union member states. A claim linking oat consumption and reduced LDL cholesterol was approved by the now defunct Joint Health Claims Initiative (JHCI) in the UK in May, 2004. A similarly generic claim has been approved in Sweden. "The deal with Kraft is significant because it shows the importance of health claims," CreaNutrition managing director, Ruedi Duss, told NutraIngredients.com. "Oats are linked to health in many people's minds but to be able to put a claim on a product that states in black and white the health benefit of a particular ingredient is very powerful." The Dutch claim reads: "Daily consumption of 1-4 servings of OatWell cereal products (providing at least 3g oat ß-glucan in all) - as part of a diet reduced in cholesterol and saturated fat - can be expected to lower the serum concentration of total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in persons with (moderately) elevated cholesterol levels by on average 4 and 6 %, respectively, after five weeks." Further abroad Duss said NNC approval for a further raft of bread-related claims was imminent in the Netherlands and claims had been lodged with assessment agencies in other member states. Generic (article 13) and product-specific (article 14) claims had also been submitted to the European Commission for consideration under European Union nutrition and health claims regulations. Oats and ingredients derived from them such as bet-glucans are seen by many as possessing great potential as they remain the only large-scale, commercially available, GMO-free grain. Oats received a boost in the US in May when the Food and Drug Administration added certain oat products to a health claim linking soluble fibre and risk of coronary heart disease. Products such as sugared oat-based cereals had been forbidden from carrying the claim because of high sugar content but FDA has now relaxed this rule. CreaNutrition and Pepsi-owned Quaker Oats are the world's leading beta-glucan suppliers.