Product news

Basel, 31 July 2015

Zinc citrate receives CODEX approval in foods for infants and young children

Zinc citrate is now integrated in the “Advisory lists of nutrient compounds for use in foods for special dietary uses intended for infants and young children” [1] for all categories and thus approved in countries applying this CODEX regulation. Zinc citrate has already gained approval in similar categories in the European Union before [2].

Zinc is an essential trace element and component in over 200 enzymes and therefore displays an important role in the human health. There are currently 18 approved Article 13 health claims in the European Union for the overall population. More recently, zinc received approval from EFSA for two Article 14 health claims, referring to its contribution to normal growth as well as to the normal function of the immune system specifically for children [3,4].

The CODEX approval process was initiated by Jungbunzlauer by submitting a detailed dossier - addressing its benefits such as high zinc content, superior bioavailability and more neutral taste - to the competent authorities in Switzerland, who lead the request at CODEX level.

Decisive factors for the integration in the CODEX advisory lists were specifically the previous integration of the monograph of zinc citrate in the United States Pharmacopeia and more recently, a study executed by ETH Zurich which proofed the superior absorption of zinc citrate in humans [5]. The study compared the bioavailability of zinc citrate with two other commonly used zinc salts: zinc gluconate and zinc oxide. The authors concluded that zinc citrate could be a useful compound for zinc supplementation and also highlighted its better sensory properties vs. often used compounds like zinc sulfate, zinc acetate or zinc gluconate.

Zinc citrate is produced in Jungbunzlauer’s Pernhofen, Austria plant and mainly supplied to the food, dietary supplement and oral care industry worldwide.

[1] CODEX regulation CAC/GL 10 – 1979, amendmend 2015 

[2] REGULATION (EU) No 609/2013 on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control,

[3] Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to zinc and normal growth pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006,

[4] Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to zinc and normal function of the immune system pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006,

[5] Rita Wegmüller, Fabian Tay, Christophe Zeder, Marica Brnić, Richard F. Hurrell: Zinc absorption by young adults from supplemental zinc citrate is comparable to that from zinc gluconate and higher than from zinc oxide.