Supplemented food and dietary supplements

What supplemented food and dietary supplements are, and the rules for labelling and selling them.

What is supplemented food?

Supplemented products have been represented as food but have been modified or had substances added to perform a physiological role. They provide more than simple nutrition. For example, a supplemented product could be milk or yoghurt that has added folic acid.

Requirements for producing supplemented food

The New Zealand Food (Supplemented Food) Standard 2016 sets out what parts of the Food Standards Code do not apply to supplemented food.

New Zealand Food (Supplemented Food) Standard 2016 [PDF, 149 KB]

The supplemented food standard user guide will help you label your supplemented food. The user guide also has a flow chart to help you decide whether your product is a supplemented food or a dietary supplement.

Supplemented food standard user guide [PDF, 670 KB]

Supplemented food incorporates most of the rules for general foods

Most of the regulatory requirements that apply to food under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code also apply to supplemented food.

Applying labelling and composition requirements

Supplemented food is different to food in that:

  • substances can be added to food so long as they are safe and suitable, and have not been restricted or banned (for example, vitamins and minerals)
  • The label must say "supplemented food".

They must not:

  • be specifically formulated for children under the age of 4
  • contain substances that are classified under the Medicines Act 1981. These are substances that have a therapeutic effect, or claim to have one.

Medicines Act 1981 – New Zealand Legislation

Making a health claim on supplemented food products

Supplemented foods can advertise health benefits by making a health claim. Supplemented foods need to use an FA5 form for making a claim.

Find out about making a health claim

Notification form FA5 [RTF, 1.6 MB]

Dietary supplements

A dietary supplement is in a controlled dose form, and does not represent food. The Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 are administered by the Medsafe division of the Ministry of Health. The Medsafe website has more information.

Regulation of dietary supplements – Medsafe

Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 – NZ Legislation

Extending the Dietary Supplements Regulations

The Dietary Supplements Regulations are due to expire on 1 March 2021.

New regulation for natural health products (including dietary supplements) is being developed. A new Bill was introduced to extend the expiry date of the Dietary Supplements Regulations to 1 March 2026 while the new regulation is being implemented.

The Food (Continuation of Dietary Supplements) Amendment Bill was introduced to extend the expiry date of the Dietary Supplements Regulations to 1 March 2026.

The Food (Continuation of Dietary Supplements) Amendment Bill – New Zealand Parliament

Policy statement on extending the Dietary Supplements Regulations

Regulatory Impact Analysis on extending the Dietary Supplements Regulations [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Read more about a regime for natural health products – Ministry of Health

Who to contact

If you have questions about supplemented food and dietary supplements, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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