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Foods for Particular Nutritional Uses

Foods for particular nutritional uses are foodstuffs which are clearly distinguishable from foodstuffs for normal consumption.

Such foods are commonly referred to as PARNUTS or PNU foods and are usually marketed to:

  • people with digestive or metabolic issues (e.g. people with coeliac disease);
  • people whose physiological condition means that they would get special benefit from eating certain substances in the food;
  • infants or young children in good health.

Under European Directive 2009/39/EC, the competent authority in each Member State must be notified when PARNUTS foods are first put on the market in that country. In Scotland, this Directive is implemented by The Notification of Marketing of Food for Particular Nutritional Uses (Scotland) Regulations 2007. These Regulations were amended by the Food (Scotland) Act 2015 to incorporate Food Standards Scotland (FSS) as the competent authority for notifications in Scotland.

Notification is made by providing FSS with a completed copy of the PARNUT application form and a sample label for each product to be put on the market. You must also provide any scientific data or information required by FSS in order to show that the food fulfils nutritional requirements for the intended consumer.

If you place the food on the market in another European Union member state, you or the importer must make similar notifications to the relevant body in that member state before the food goes on the market.

Note: Directive 2009/39/EC will be revoked and replaced on 20 July 2016 by Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 on foods for specific groups. Notification forms and guidance will be updated in due course.

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