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2nd July 2012: EURRECA! On the road to harmonsing vitamin and mineral recommendations in Europe

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals needed only in small amounts but essential for health. The recommended intake to avoid deficiency depends on age, gender, genotype, physical activity, health status and the efficiency with which an individual absorbs and metabolises micronutrients.

Throughout Europe, recommendations vary widely with up to a twofold change in recommended dietary intake from one country to another. However, people’s physiological needs are not so different.1 In Europe, harmonising and aligning nutrition policy and public health strategies is an important goal. In the context of this harmonisation exercise, the 6 year EU FP6 Network of Excellence EURRECA (EURopean micronutrients RECommendations Aligned) has been established to identify and develop methodologies to standardise the process of setting micronutrient dietary reference values, as a basis for nutrient recommendations.

Populations have become more mobile and multi-national, making it more important than ever that recommendations are consistent throughout Europe. Inconsistencies may lead to confusion for policy-makers, health professionals, the food industry and consumers, pose difficulties for international food production/marketing, and ultimately prevent recommendations from reaching their goal of ensuring adequate intake.

EURRECA has developed a nine step framework outlining the ideal process for deriving Dietary Reference Values (recommended nutritional intake) scientifically, transparently and systematically. The steps can be grouped into four stages which can support the scientific alignment of setting micronutrient recommendations and provide a guide for experts, to ensure that all possibilities and options are considered.

Read the full article on the European Food Information Council website.

 

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