By Deirdre Tynan • 17 June 2021 • 14:01
Nutri-Score rates food from A to E.
Nutri-Score labelling on food products could save thousands of lives in Spain each year, Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon has said.
Speaking in Parliament on June 16, Garzon said, “Its implementation could reduce by 3.4 per cent the number of deaths caused by obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes or certain types of cancer.”
The Nutri-Score, also known as the 5-Colour Nutrition label or 5-CNL, is a nutritional rating system that was selected by the French government in March 2017 to be displayed on food products after it was compared against several labels proposed by industry or retailers. It is based on the computation of a nutrient profiling system derived from the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system.
A Nutri-Score for a particular food item is given in one of five classification letters, with ‘A’ being the best preferable score and ‘E’ being a worst. The calculation of the score involves seven different parameters of nutrient information per 100 grams of food which are usually available on food packaging.
A high content of fruits and vegetables, fibers, protein and healthy oils such as rapeseed, walnut and olive oils, produces a good score, while a high content of energy, sugar, saturated fatty acids, and sodium produces a bad score. In addition to the general calculation rules applied to most types of food, there are special rules for cheese, for “added fats” – fats that are meant as ingredients, such as vegetable oils or butter – and for beverages.
EU laws do not allow countries to unilaterally impose their own food labelling system, therefore they can only give recommendations.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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