Getting Your Claims Right

8. Glossary

Page last updated: 21 October 2014

Act means the Act, as amended or, as the case may be, ordinance of a state, territory, external territory, Commonwealth or New Zealand, under the authority of which the Food Standards Code is enforced.

Biologically active substance is as defined in Standard 1.2.8.

Biomarker means a measurable biological parameter that is predictive of the risk of a serious disease when present at an abnormal level in the human body.

Claim means an expressed or implied statement, representation, design or information in relation to a food or property of food which is not mandatory in the Food Standards Code.

Comparative claim means a nutrition content claim that directly or indirectly compares the nutrition content of one food or brand of food with another, and includes claims using the descriptors – a) light or lite, b) increased, or c) reduced, or words of similar import. A nutrition content claim using the descriptor ‘diet’ is also a comparative claim, if it meets the conditions for making that claim by having at least 40% less energy than the same quantity of reference food.

Endorsement means a nutrition content claim or a health claim that is made with the permission of an endorsing body.

Endorsing body is a not-for-profit entity which has a nutrition or health-related purpose or function, that permits a supplier to make an endorsement.

Food group is referred to in the definition of reference food, for the purposes of comparative claims and means any of the following groups:

  • bread (both leavened and unleavened), grains, rice, pasta and noodles
  • fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and fungi
  • milk and milk products as standardised in Part 2.5 and analogues derived from legumes and cereals mentioned in Column 1 of the Table to clause 3 in Standard 1.3.2
  • meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and dried legumes
  • fats including butter, edible oils and edible oil spreads.

Fruit means the edible portion of a plant or constituents of the edible portion that are present in the typical proportion of the whole fruit (with or without the peel or water), but does not include nuts, spices, herbs, fungi, legumes and seeds.

General level health claim means a health claim that is not a high level health claim.

High level health claim means a health claim that refers to a serious disease or a biomarker of a serious disease.

Health claim means a claim which states, suggests or implies that a food or a property of food has, or may have, a health effect.

Health effect means an effect on the human body, including an effect on one or more of the following:

  • a biochemical process or outcome
  • a physiological process or outcome
  • a functional process or outcome
  • growth and development
  • physical performance
  • mental performance
  • a disease, disorder or condition.

Infant formula product means a product based on milk or other edible food constituents of animal or plant origin which is nutritionally adequate to serve as the principal liquid source of nourishment for infants.

Information period, in relation to food, means the period:

  • during which the food is available for sale or advertised for sale; and
  • the period of 2 years after the food was last sold, or advertised or available for sale, whichever is the latest.

Label means any tag, brand, mark or statement in writing or any representation or design or descriptive matter on or attached to or used in connection with or accompanying any food or package.

NPSC means the nutrient profiling scoring criterion.

Nutrition content claim means a claim about –

  • the presence or absence of –
    • a biologically active substance; or
    • dietary fibre; or
    • energy; or
    • minerals; or
    • potassium; or
    • protein; or
    • carbohydrate; or
    • fat; or
    • the components of any one of protein, carbohydrate or fat; or
    • salt; or
    • sodium; or
    • vitamins; or
  • glycaemic index or glycaemic load;

that does not refer to the presence or absence of alcohol, and is not a health claim.

Property of food means a component, ingredient, constituent or other feature of food.

Reference food means a food that is:

  • of the same type as the food for which a claim is made and that has not been further processed, formulated, reformulated or modified to increase or decrease the energy value or the amount of the nutrient for which the claim is made; or
  • a dietary substitute for the food in the same food group as the food for which a claim is made.

Relevant authority means the authority responsible for the enforcement of the Food Standards Code.

Required records means documents regarding endorsement which demonstrate that:

  • a supplier using an endorsement has obtained the permission of the endorsing body to use the endorsement; and
  • the endorsing body has a nutrition or health-related function or purpose; and
  • the endorsing body is a not-for-profit entity; and
  • the endorsing body is not related to the supplier using the endorsement.

Serious disease means a disease, disorder or condition which is generally diagnosed, treated or managed in consultation with or with supervision by a health care professional.

Small package means a package with a surface area of less than 100 cm2.

Supplier means the packer, manufacturer, vendor or importer of the food in question.

Vegetable means the edible portion of a plant or constituents of the edible portion that are present in the typical proportion of the whole vegetable (with or without the peel or water), but excludes nuts, spices, herbs, fungi, dried legumes (including dried legumes that have been cooked or rehydrated) and seeds.