Revealed: Why 'superfoods' like cranberry juice and black tea don't live up to the marketing hype

It is often the health claims made for food products that really convince us to buy them. But it seems the promises made for dozens of supermarket items really are too good to be true.

A Europe-wide investigation found that the apparent healthcare benefits of more than 50 food products and supplements, including Ocean Spray cranberry juice and Lipton black tea, were scientifically unproven. Investigators also rejected many of the claims made for fish oil supplements, which promise to improve brain growth in babies and children.

The European Food Safety Authority examined the science behind the health claims made for 66 foods or ingredients. The findings of the study suggest consumers are being fooled into believing the products will improve their diet and could be wasting millions of pounds on them.

The study will send shockwaves through the multi-million pound food and supplements industry, which relies heavily on the assertions made for its products to shift them from the supermarket shelves. The EFSA is to inspect 4,000 more products.

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