Food supplements and botanicals


As an addition to a normal diet, food business operators market food supplements, which are concentrated sources of nutrients (or other substances) with a nutritional or physiological effect. Such food supplements can be marketed in “dose” form, such as pills, tablets, capsules, liquids in measured doses, etc.

The objective of the harmonised rules on those products in Directive 2002/46/EC is to protect consumers against potential health risks from those products and to ensure that they are not provided with misleading information.

Regulation EC 1925/2006 regulates the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods (not supplements). Alongside, The Regulations on Nutrition and Health Claims (Regulation EC 1924/2006) and Novel Foods (Regulation EC 2283/2015) apply to food supplements and botanicals.


Detailed information can be found

- European Commission (EC) 

- European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

- Directive 2002/46/EC on food supplements

- Regulation EC 1925/2006 on addition of vitamins and minerals to foods 

- Regulation EC 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims 

- Regulation EC 2283/2015 on Novel Foods

What do I offer

- Assessing safety and efficacy of food supplements.

- Preparing and checking dossiers on Health Claims.

- Preparing and checking dossiers on Novel Foods.

- Collaboration in (EU) projects as an SME.


Expertise with the topic

- Ample experience with food safety and nutrition.

- Supervision of several PhD students while in TNO (1990’s).

- Ample experience with the scientific evaluation dossiers on Health Claims.

- Ample experience with the scientific evaluation dossiers on Novel Foods.

- Expertise on botanicals (eugenol, glucosinolates, ginkgo biloba, …), medical foods, and on the food-pharma interface.


Some key publications in the area

  • Verhagen H. and Feron V.J. (1992). Toxicologie van voeding en voedingssupplementen. Actueel Gezondheidsbeleid 14: 11‑1­7
  • Verhagen H, Poulsen H.E., Loft S., van Poppel G, Willems M.I. and van Blade­ren P.J. (1995). Reduction of oxidative DNA‑dama­ge in man by Brus­sels sprou­ts. Carcinogenesis 16: 969-970
  • Rompelberg C.J.M., Vogels J.T.W.E., de Vogel N., Bruijntjes-Rozier G.C.D.M., Stenhuis W.H., Bogaards J.J.P. and Verhagen H. (1996). Effect of short-term dietary administration of eugenol in humans. Human & Experimental Toxicology 15: 129-135
  • Verhoeven D.T.H., Goldbohm R.A., van Poppel G., Verhagen H. and van den Brandt P.A. (1996). Review: Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 5: 733-748
  • Verhoeven D.T.H., Verhagen H., Goldbohm R.A., van den Brandt P.A. and van Poppel G. (1997). A review of mechanisms underlying anticarcinogenicity by brassica vegeta­bles. Chem-Biol. Interactions 103: 79-129
  • Fransen H.P., Sylvia M.G.J. Pelgrom S.M.G.J., Stewart-Knox B., de Kaste D. and Verhagen H. (2010). Assessment of health claims, content, and safety of herbal supplements containing Ginkgo biloba. Food & Nutrition Research 2010. 54: 5221 
  • Eussen SR, Verhagen H, Klungel OH, Garssen J, van Loveren H, van Kranen HJ, Rompelberg CJM. (2011). Functional foods and dietary supplements: Products at the interface between pharma and nutrition. Eur J Pharmacol. 668: S2–S9
  • Hendriksen M, and Verhagen H. (2013). An Assessment Framework to Delineate Between Dietary Foods for Special Medical Purposes and Normal Foods. European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety 3: 74-86.