Foodstuffs for specific groups

Foodstuffs for specific groups are foods which, due to their special composition, are suitable for their claimed nutritional purposes. They are suitable for persons who may benefit from them due to a special physiological condition, such as disturbed digestive processes or metabolism.

The key legislation on foodstuffs for specific groups is under reform. The new Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 on food for specific groups replaced the current legislation on foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses on 20 July 2016. Until the delegated acts becomes fully applicable, the foodstuffs are regulated by the Commission Directive 2009/39/EY on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses, which has been implemented through the national decree 121/2010 and more detailed foodstuff-specific legislation.

In the future, detailed rules will only be established for

  1. infant formula and follow-on formula
  2. processed cereal-based food and baby food
  3. food for special medical purposes
  4. total diet replacement for weight control

Pre marketing notification

Foods for special groups generally require a notification to the Food Authority before placing the food on the market.  The Finnish Food Authority’s website includes more information on current legislation on foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses, such as guidelines on notifications and control activities:

More information and guidelines on the legislation on foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses is also available on the Commission website.

Finland’s positions on drafting EU legislation concerning food fortification and food supplements are prepared in an expert group of the sub-committee responsible for food legislation and control operating under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.



Further information

Anna Lemström, Senior Officer 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Food Department, Food Safety Unit Telephone:0295162145   Email Address: