Supplemented food and dietary supplements

If you sell supplemented food, you need to meet requirements under the NZ Food (Supplemented Food) Standard 2016. Dietary supplements come under the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985.

What is supplemented food?

Supplemented food is a product that is represented as a food, but it has been modified in some way or had substances added to it so that it performs a physiological role. The supplements or modification mean it provides more than simple nutrition.

Foods that comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) are not supplemented foods and need to meet requirements in the Code.

Meeting requirements for supplemented food

The New Zealand Food (Supplemented Food) Standard 2016 is administered by MPI.

New Zealand Food (Supplemented Food) Standard 2016

Supplemented food or dietary supplement

The flow chart in the Supplemented food standard user guide helps 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

The main differences for supplemented food are:

  • any vitamin, mineral, botanical, or bioactive substance may be added to a supplemented food if it is safe and suitable for the purpose that it is being added, unless specifically restricted or prohibited
  • the requirement to display "supplemented food" on the label.

They must not:

  • be specifically formulated for children under the age of 4
  • contain substances that are classified under the Medicines Act 1981.

The standard allows supplemented foods to make self-substantiated health claims in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. This requires a person to notify MPI of a relationship between a food or property of food and a health effect (food-health relationship) which has been established by a process of systematic review.

To notify MPI use Notification form FA5 – Established relationship between a supplemented food/property of supplemented food and health effect.

Notification form FA5

Dietary supplements

The Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 are administered by the Medsafe division of the Ministry of Health. More information about meeting the requirements in these regulations is available on the Medsafe website.

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.

The Food (Continuation of Dietary Supplements) Amendment Bill was introduced in to the House of Representatives on 12 May 2020. The purpose of the Bill is to extend the expiry date of the Dietary Supplements Regulations to 1 March 2026, while a new regulatory regime for natural health products (including dietary supplements) is developed and fully implemented.

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

Policy statement on extending the Dietary Supplements Regulations [PDF, 120 KB]

Cabinet Paper on the Food (Continuation of dietary Supplements Regulations) Amendment Bill [PDF, 661 KB]

Cabinet Minute on the Food (Continuation of dietary Supplements Regulations) Amendment Bill [PDF, 687 KB]

Regulatory Impact Analysis on extending the Dietary Supplements Regulations

A regime for natural health products – Ministry of Health

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