dr ine o connor nutrition scientist british nutrition foundation l.
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Dr Áine O’Connor Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 38

Dr Áine O’Connor Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Dr Áine O’Connor Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation. Food labelling and health claims. Outline. Food legislation: an update Nutrition information Front-of-pack labelling Food fortification Nutrition and health claims Where are we now with the health claims process? .

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Dr Áine O’Connor Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation' - fahim

Download Now An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
dr ine o connor nutrition scientist british nutrition foundation
Dr Áine O’Connor

Nutrition Scientist

British Nutrition Foundation

Food labelling and health claims

  • Food legislation: an update
  • Nutrition information
  • Front-of-pack labelling
  • Food fortification
  • Nutrition and health claims
  • Where are we now with the health claims process?
  • Food labelling legislation is harmonised at EU level
  • Food labelling Regulations 1996
  • Food Standards Agency is responsible for food labelling legislation and policy in Scotland
  • A new EU Regulation -Food information Regulation- adopted by the European Council last month
food information regulation
Food Information Regulation
  • EC issued a proposal in 2008 for a new Food Information Regulation (FIR)
  • New FIR will consolidate EU rules on general food + nutrition labelling into a single Regulation
  • Replace existing legislation in UK
  • Excepted to come into force (Dec) with transition period
  • For more info, see: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/foodlabelling/proposed_legislation_en.htm
  • Nutrition information on processed foods
  • Origin labelling of fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry
  • Highlighting of allergens (e.g. peanuts or milk) in the list of ingredients
  • Better legibility (minimum size of text)
  • provision of allergen information on non-pre packed foods
what must be on a label
What must be on a label?
  • Name of food
  • List of ingredients (in descending order)
  • Weight or volume
  • GM ingredients
  • Date and storage conditions
  • Preparation instructions
  • Place of origin
  • Lot or batch number
date marks
Date marks

There are two different date marks which appear on food labels:

  • ‘Use-by’ - found on perishable foods, e.g. milk, meat, fish. Foods are not safe to eat after this date (food safety).
  • ‘Best before’ - found on a wide range of food including fresh, frozen, dried, canned and other foods. Foods can be eaten after this date, but may not be at their best quality (quality, taste, texture and appearance).
nutrition information
Nutrition information
  • Not mandatory unless a nutrition claim is made e.g. ‘low fat’ or ‘high fibre…
  • If a nutrition claim is made:
  • Energy value of the food in kJ and kcal must be provided
  • Amount of protein, carbohydrate and fat in g must be provided
nutrition information9
Nutrition information
  • If they choose to provide nutrition information it must be in one of two formats
  • Further information can be added to labels such as the amounts of polyunsaturates, monounsaturates, starch, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals

Format 1: ‘Big 4’

Energy (kJ and kcal)

Protein (g)

Carbohydrate (g)

Fat (g)

Format 2: ‘Big 4 and Little 4’

Energy (kJ and kcal)

Protein (g)

Carbohydrate (g)

of which: sugars (g)

Fat (g)

of which: saturates (g)

Fibre (g)

Sodium (g)

allergen information
Allergen information
  • Foods that are known to cause allergies and intolerances may be listed in a box or highlighted to draw attention to their presence, e.g. this product contains MILK
  • FIR will require unpackaged foods to provide allergy information
  • Industry already labels foods as suitable for vegetarians or vegan
  • 2006, FSA provided guidance for manufacturers, caterers and enforcement authorities to improve food labelling for vegans and vegetarians
  • The FSA guidelines, have now been adopted by the European Parliament giving the use of the term vegetarian/vegan legal status

For more information, see:


front of pack labelling
Front-of-pack labelling
  • Most of the big supermarkets and many food manufacturers also display nutritional information on the front of pre-packed food
  • Traffic light labels on the front-of-pack provides information on high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt
  • The number of grams of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt in what the manufacturer or retailer suggests as a ‘serving’ of the food though the criteria are per 100g
guideline daily amount gda
Guideline Daily Amount (GDA)
  • Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) are guidelines for healthy adults and children on the approximate amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, total sugars, protein, fibre, salt and sodium required for a healthy diet
  • GDAs are not targets for individuals to consume, but a guideline or benchmark to help them make dietary choices and balance their daily intake
front of pack labelling evaluation research
Front of pack labelling evaluation research

Research is to evaluate the impact of the various FOP nutritional signposting schemes on consumer knowledge and behaviour

The coexistence of a range of FOP label formats causes difficulty for shoppers

The strongest labels are those which include all of:

- Words ‘High/med/low’ +

- Traffic lights +

- %Guideline Daily Amount


European Parliament failed to adopt traffic light labeling (June 2010)

Quantities per 100g, GDAs and country of origin labeling

were approved

food fortification
Food fortification
  • Mandatory
    • Fortification - margarine (vitamins A & D to levels comparable with butter)
    • Restoration – brown & white bread flour (iron, thiamin & niacin) – to replace nutrients lost in milling (Bread & Flour Regulations 1998)
    • Calcium
  • Voluntary
    • Vitamins & minerals to breakfast cereals
    • Folic acid to spreads
    • Omega 3 (and other) fatty acids
    • Dietary fibres
    • Plant & herbal extracts
why fortify foods
Why fortify foods?

*’Low’ defined as intakes less than the Lower Reference Nutrient Intake (LRNI)

Source: SACN (2008): The Nutritional Wellbeing of the British Population

nutrition claims
Nutrition claims
  • A claim about what a food contains
    • Low fat
    • High fibre
    • Reduced sugar
    • Source of vitamin C
health claims
Health claims
  • A claim about the effect a food or drink has on health
    • Calcium is important for healthy bones
    • Helps you feel fuller for longer
    • Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease
    • Contributes to healthy gut function
ec regulation 1924 2006
EC Regulation 1924/2006
  • Regulation 1924/2006/EC developed in order to:
    • Protect consumers from misleading claims
    • Encourage innovation in the food industry
    • Harmonise rules on claims in the EU allowing free trade
what does the regulation do
What does the regulation do?
  • Sets standards for nutrition claims
  • Process to ensure health claims are scientific
  • Nutrient profile
  • Some claims not permitted
nutrition claims24
Nutrition Claims
  • Only those in regulation can be used
  • Conditions of use apply
    • e.g. low fat = <3g/100g
    • Source of vitamin C – at least 15% RDA
  • Will have to comply with nutrient profile
health claims25
Health claims
  • Divided into categories
    • Generally accepted scientific evidence
    • Newer evidence
    • Those relating to either:
      • Reduction in disease risk
      • Children's health and development
generally accepted scientific evidence
‘Generally accepted scientific evidence’
  • Text-book level
  • Calcium is important for healthy bones
  • Fibre can help maintain a healthy gut
  • Vitamin A is necessary for normal vision
newer evidence
Newer evidence
  • Probiotics/prebiotics?
  • Plant bioactives?
reduction of disease risk
Reduction of disease risk
  • Cholesterol reduction (plant stanols/sterols)
  • Xylitol and healthy teeth
assessment of health claims
Assessment of health claims
  • Expert body (EFSA) assesses the science
  • EC – EFSA opinion and consumer understanding
  • Claims placed on accepted/rejected list
generally accepted scientific evidence current situation
‘Generally accepted scientific evidence’– current situation
  • EFSA finalised claims in June
  • More than 40,000 claims submitted by member states
  • 341 opinions (+/-) providing scientific advice on >2,000 claims
  • Complex, long process with lots of disagreement!
  • Opinions on claims related to botanicals are pending
vitamin d is essential for the bone growth of children
‘Vitamin D is essential for the bone growth of children’
    • Studies showed good consensus on role of vitamin D in bone growth
    • Cause and effect relationship established
    • Many people in EU with low vitamin D
    • Food making claim should be at least a ‘source of’ vitamin D (15% RDA)
  • EC – approved claim
cranberry products and reduction in risk of utis
Cranberry products and reduction in risk of UTIs
    • Some studies in test tubes
    • Human studies carried out in unwell subjects
    • High doses of active ingredients used
    • Some were too small
    • Cause and effect relationship not established
  • EC
    • Rejected claim based on EFSA opinion
nutrient profile
Nutrient profile
  • Designed to prevent claims on foods that have an overall ‘less healthy’ profile
  • EFSA provided advice in 2008 highlighting
    • Saturated fatty acids
    • Added sugars
    • Sodium
nutrient profile current situation
Nutrient profile – current situation
  • Due January 2009
  • Still not available!
  • Much disagreement on all sides
  • No scheduled date for publication of final version
  • Important for nutrition and health claims in Europe to be evidence-based and consistent
  • But…
    • EC regulation complex
    • Lack of nutrient profile
    • Behind schedule
  • How does the consumer view nutrition and health claims?

For more information on progress in the health claims process, visit : http://www.efsa.europa.eu/

Nutrition Bulletin: www.blackwellpublishing.com/nbu

thank you

Thank you