Following an application from Rank Nutrition Ltd, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of the United Kingdom, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to increasing maternal folate status by supplemental folate intake and reduced risk of neural tube defects. The Panel considers that the food constituent, supplemental folate, which is the subject of the claim, is sufficiently characterised. Increasing maternal folate status by supplemental folate intake is a beneficial physiological effect in the context of reducing the risk of neural tube defects. In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the association between low maternal folate intakes and an increased risk of neural tube defects is well established, and that a recent systematic review showed an effect of maternal folic acid intakes on the risk of neural tube defects. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between increasing maternal folate status by supplemental folate intake and a reduced risk of neural tube defects.