Following an application from Specialised Nutrition Europe (formerly IDACE), submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, 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 beta-palmitate and contribution to softening of stools. The food constituent, beta-palmitate, that is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised. Contribution to softening of stools is a beneficial physiological effect for infants. In weighing the evidence the Panel took into account that, out of two human intervention studies with important methodological limitations, one suggested a stool-softening effect of beta-palmitate whereas the second did not, that one animal study did not support a stool-softening effect of beta-palmitate, and that the evidence provided for a mechanism by which beta-palmitate could contribute to the softening of stools is weak. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of beta-palmitate and softening of stools.