Dê um identificador à portlet.



Logotipo do e-Portugal


logotipo da acessibilidade

Homepage >> FOOD SAFETY >> Food Supplements
Back Back

Nutrition and Food – Labeling and Nutrition

Food Supplements


Food supplements are considered to be foodstuffs, even if they have some specificities, such as dosage form and are intended to complement or supplement a normal diet. They are not medicinal products and therefore cannot claim prophylactic properties, prevent or cure diseases, nor refer to such properties.


In accordance with Decree-Law no. 118/2015 of 23 june, which amends Decree-Law no. 136/2003, food supplements may only be made available to the final consumer in the form of a pre-packaged product.

They are intended to complement and / or supplement the normal diet and should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet.

They are concentrated sources of certain nutrients or other nutritional or physiological substances, on their own or in combination.

They may contain a wide range of nutrients and other ingredients, namely vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, fiber and various plants and herbal extracts.

At Community level, only vitamins and minerals that can be incorporated into food supplements, which are discriminated in REG. (EC) no. 1170/2009, of the Commission of 30 November and DIRECTIVE 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and the council of 10 June 2002 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to food supplements

In addition to a list of authorized vitamins and minerals (Annex I), these documents also contain a list of the ways in which nutrients can be incorporated as ingredients in food supplements (Annex II).

Substances other than vitamins and minerals, to be used as food supplement ingredients, must meet the requirements of REG.  (UE) No 2015/2283, concerning novel foods and novel food ingredients. It should therefore be possible to establish a significant food consumption history in the European Union before 15 May 1997 (the date of entry into force of that Regulation).

In the absence of any valid reference to the consumption of a particular food or ingredient in this context, it is considered that if a novel food or food ingredient is present and its marketing in the EU depends on a safety assessment carried out by EFSA and subsequent approval by the Commission.

It is the responsibility of the trader to ensure that the ingredients in food supplements are not novel foods. For more information on novel foods, see the DGAV page on this subject [Novel Foods]. 

In order to better protect consumer safety, the European Commission, at the request of a MS, may decide to include a substance or an ingredient in a list of prohibited substances, restricted substances or a list of substances under Community control, in accordance with the provisions of REG (EC) No. 1925/2006.

However, to date, only the species of Ephedra and Pausinystalia yohimbe have been harmonized: Reg. (EU) n.º 2015/403 of 11 March and Reg. (EU) n.º 2019/650 of 24 April, amending Annex III to the Reg. (EC) Nº. 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the species of Ephedra and the Red-bellied Woodpecker [Pausinystalia yohimbe (K. Schum) Pierre ex Beille].
Ephedra species and Pausinystalia yohimbe have been included in Part A of Annex III to Regulation (EC) No. 1925/2006 (Prohibited Substances).

Products classified as medicinal products for human use as defined in Decree-Law No. 176/2006  of August 30, are not food supplements.


Nutrition and health claims which comply with the provisions of REG. (CE) No. 1924/2006, of 20 December, as well as the horizontal rules on foods, in particular  REG. (EU) No. 1169/2011, Regarding the Information to the Consumer and REG. (EC) No. 1170/2009, on the addition of vitamins and minerals.

Specific labeling of food supplements (Decree-Law no. 118/2015

Indications to be included in the Labeling:

(See  Labeling checklist of the Food Supplements Notification Procedure

In order to be marketed food supplements shall comply with the specific regulations for this type of products (Decree-Law no. 118/2015)


  • Designation of the categories of nutrients or substances which characterize the product or a specific reference to their nature.

  • Recommended daily dose of the product.

  • Amount of nutrients or substances with a nutritional or physiological effect declared in numerical form and referring to the daily intake recommended by the manufacturer and indicated on the label. Amount of vitamins and minerals also expressed as a percentage of the reference values.

  • A warning that the indicated daily intake should not be exceeded.

  • A warning that products should be stored out of the reach of children.

  • A warning that food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet.

The labeling of food supplements shall also comply with the provisions of Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 in what regards them.
For more detailed information on this diploma, see the DGAV portal: Labeling

In accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002, it is the responsibility of the economic operator to ensure compliance with the requirements of the applicable legislation.



In order to know whether the health claim has been authorized and is correctly drafted, please refer to the Commission's statement of claims 
and, where available, the published regulation and the official Portuguese journal.

For more detailed information on Nutrition and Health Claims, see the DGAV portal on this subject: Nutrition and Health Claims


The DGAV provides information on the notification procedure (See notification procedure for food supplements )

To facilitate efficient monitoring of food supplements,  Decree-Law no. 118/2015 refers that the manufacturer, distributor or importer must notify the Competent Authority (DGAV) by sending requested documents, in particular a copy of the label.


The DGAV has developed a database - SIPACE - to gather reliable information on agri-food businesses. The updated information, collected in this way, contributes to a better response to the sector by the Administration, so that all operators are encouraged to register, with no costs associated with the process.

This procedure falls within the scope of official control and is therefore intended only for operators based in national territory.

For more information, consult the DGAV Portal Registo da indústria alimentar e dos fabricantes de materiais em contacto


Phone:  00351 213 613 257
E-mail for notifications -
Questions related to food supplements -
Other subjects related to food supplements - DSNA@dgav.pt

Last updated - February 2019


Back Back
Update on: 2021-01-24


© 2009 MADRP - DGV | ITds