After numerous comments were gathered during the public consultation last year, the final version of the opinion on nutrient profiles and front-of-pack nutrition labelling has now been published by EFSA as part of the “Farm to Fork” initiative by the Commission.
The basic intention is a harmonized EU-wide system for front-of-pack nutrition labeling and measures to restrict nutrition or health claims made on foods. However, EFSA did not evaluate or propose a specific model for establishing nutrient profiles in the opinion. EFSA’s main task was the identification of nutrient and non-nutrient components of foods that are essential for the public health of the European population and the food groups that play an important role in the European diet.
Finally, certain criteria were established to guide the choice of nutrients in the creation of future nutrient profiling. Unsurprisingly, the EFSA found that the EU population’s intake of energy, saturated fats, sodium and added/free sugars is too high and is associated with adverse health effects. In contrast, the ingested amounts of dietary fibre and potassium are too low for most of the adult population in Europe. The same applies to the intake of iron, calcium, vitamin D, folate and iodine. Although some foods make a significant contribution to their intake, in many cases the total intake is too low. By including these factors in nutrient-profiling models and especially decreasing the energy intake in general, adverse health effects such as overweight and obesity could be reduced in the future.
Answers to frequently asked questions and further information in this context can be found here. If you want to evaluate your health and nutrition claim opportunities or if you need support in adapting your product labels to the future labeling requirements, get in touch with us.