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HMRC internal manual

VAT Food

Items benefiting from the relief: What is food?: Food and medicine: Enteral nutrition


  • a patient has a working gastro-intestinal tract, but, for any reason, is unable or unwilling to eat normally, or
  • supplementary nutritional support is required, specially formulated liquids may be given through a nasogastric tube. These preparations are known as “enteral” nutrition products as they are administered via the intestinal tract. They normally consist of a balanced combination of protein, fat and carbohydrate, although the exact proportion of each may vary according to the particular requirements of the individual patient. Other preparations consisting of one or more of these elements, such as glucose solutions, may be given in the same manner as supplements.

Enteral nutrition products are treated as food for VAT purposes and zero-rated.