Do health claims for yoghurt products stack up?
Claims about yoghurt products are as widespread as the bacteria in your digestive system.
Symbio Probalance and Yoplait Elivae claim to “aid digestive balance”. Moogurt pouches boast “probiotic goodness” and you can also buy fermented milk drinks to “boost your friendly bacteria”, and “help keep your immune system healthy”.
Most of the claims relate to probiotics – live bacteria that improve the health of your gut and help with digestion. But from January 2016, companies need to notify Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) about their claims and have evidence, including human studies, to back them up.
The Ministry for Primary Industries, the agency that enforces the Food Standards Code, says the claims we found on products will need to be notified to FSANZ. To date, no notifications for probiotic health claims in New Zealand have been submitted, although one has been notified in Australia.
We checked out yoghurt products and asked companies to substantiate their probiotic claims.