A survey of food stuff specialty samples conducted by the French consumer association, UFC-Que Choisir, discovered Nutri-Rating labels do not penalize traditional products with protected status from the European Union.
The association analyzed 588 food stuff samples derived from 310 traditional products, numerous of which are certified with Guarded Geographical Indication (PGI) or Secured Designation of Origin (PDO) status from the E.U.
UFC-Que Choisir wrote in a press launch that at minimum two-thirds of all those samples “obtained superior grades” from Nutri-Score.
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Nutri-Rating grades food items dependent on the contents these kinds of as extra fat, sugar, salt and calories in 100 grams or milliliters of the foods. It then prices the meals with a color/letter code emblazoned on the packages, from the healthiest “Environmentally friendly A” down to the “Crimson E.”
In the survey, 62 percent of the examined food stuff products arrived out with a Nutri-Score quality of A, B or C. Consumption of this sort of foodstuff “is often encouraged because of their superior nutritional qualities,” UFC-Que Choisir wrote.
“There are 121 food products classified as A and B, with olive oil classified as C, which is to be preferred to other sorts of unwanted fat,” they additional.
In the push release, UFC-Que Choisir highlighted a few examples of renowned specialties, “traditional foodstuff which exhibit to be extremely nicely balanced, these types of as the Flemish hochepot, the Auvergne hotpot or the famed Castelnaudary cassoulet.”
Other examples consist of traditional meat and cold cuts, fruits and legumes, all receiving the A and B ratings. Within just the Nutri-Score C classification, olive oils are in the company of products this kind of as Alsatian spaetzle pasta or parsley ham from Burgundy.
The ratings clearly show that Nutri-Score does not stigmatize nearby specialties, according to the association.
In the release, UFC Que-Choisir emphasized that foodstuff products receiving a D or E from Nutri-Score “are not meant to denigrate them or prohibit their consumption, but only suggest it is recommended to consume them in moderate quantities and at reasonable frequencies.”
The association added that D or E‑rated products could possibly have their position in a balanced diet program.
Nutri-Rating inventor Serge Hercberg informed Olive Oil Situations in a July 2020 interview that Nutri-Rating ratings are intended to demonstrate consumers the greatest available alternative of food within just a given food stuff category.
For example, Nutri-Score considers olive oils the ideal decision in the fat category with its C, attributing a D to other fat these as butter.
The association’s survey came on the heels of the ongoing heated debate involving Nutri-Score’s promoters and foodstuff producers which is intensifying as the European Commission’s self-imposed deadline of December to opt for a European-vast front-of-pack label ways.
Not too long ago, several producers’ associations of legendary European cheeses, including the French Roquefort PDO or the Italian Parmigiano Reggiano PDO associations have voiced their opposition to the Nutri-Rating.
They argued the French-born labeling system does not consider the nutritional qualities of these products and does not charge the meals in quantities that will likely be consumed as a daily serving.
Olive oil associations and producers in Spain, Italy and Greece have also argued that Nutri-Score’s quality does not accurately portray the well being benefits of certain grades of olive oil by grading them all with a “C.”
Like the cheese producers, olive oil producers have also stressed how the 100 milliliters sample estimates are not realistic compared to the true consumption.
The opposition to Nutri-Score’s possible introduction in Europe has been growing because the labeling system was adopted by several countries, including France and Germany.
Italy, leading the opposition to Nutri-Rating, has also presented a competing label named Nutrinform Battery, which the European Fee is currently evaluating alongside with several other labeling systems.
According to UFC-Que Choisir, Nutri-Score is the very best device available to let consumers to make a quick and educated choice when buying meals products.
For that reason, the association has confirmed that the survey results have been sent to the European Commission. The association concluded that it “warns food manufacturers of their responsibility in a rearguard fight to maintain opacity on unbalanced food items.”