Manufacturers will have to back up claims about nutrition and health on their products, under new food safety regulations.

Under the regulations, stating claims such as 'calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis' will be subject to scientific evidence and will have to meet specific criteria.

The move will benefit consumers and manufacturers, said Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich.

"It's taken more than a decade of hard work from New Zealand's officials to see this project come to fruition, but the outcome is good news for New Zealand food producers," she said.


"Not only will it help ensure consumers have greater confidence that health claims are evidence-based, it also supports manufacturers in making claims on innovative products for important export markets.

"Food businesses will have three years to make the transition to meet the standards.

Food Safety Authority New Zealand will work with the industry, public health, and consumers on a range of issues over the regulations, including refining the nutrient criteria.

The health claims standard was expected to help promote innovation for export markets and fit with the Government's aim of doubling exports by 2025, said Mrs Rich.