‘Mega-healthy’ in-flight meal meets all 222 Article 13.1 health claims!

A leading food industry research business has created a ‘mega-healthy’ airline meal that satisfies all 222 Article 13.1 health claims approved by the European Commission on 16 May.

Leatherhead Food Research CEO Dr Paul Berryman challenged his team of scientific, regulatory and marketing experts to devise a meal that could make all 222 claims.

He said: “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 agrees 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 – although Leatherhead points out this isn’t an official health claim.

Named the 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 says the more serious point behind the airline meal idea is to show how Leatherhead can help food companies establish new scientific evidence for future health claim applications under Article 13.5 or Article 14. “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”.