Food composition data and labelling – A challenging dialogue

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2022050332342 http://hdl.handle.net/10138/343263
Titel: Food composition data and labelling – A challenging dialogue
Författare: Christensen, Tue; Nielsen, Cecilie Wirenfeldt; Valsta, Liisa; Aalto, Sanni; Haario, Peppi; Reinivuo, Heli; Virtanen, Suvi; Pastell, Helena; Nieminen, Janne; Reykdal, Ólafur; Axelsson, Cecilia; Petrelius-Sipinen, Jessica; Kielland, Ellen; Østerholt Dalane, Jorån; Hauger Carlsen, Monica; Salupuu, Kristin; Jõgi, Änn
Upphovmannens organisation: Ruokavirasto
Finnish Food Authority
Utgivare: Nordic Council of Ministers
Datum: 2020
Språk: en
Tillhör serie: TemaNord
ISBN: 978-92-893-6537-6
ISSN: 0908-6692
DOI: https://doi.org/10.6027/temanord2020-508
Permanenta länken (URI): http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2022050332342
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/343263
Abstrakt: This report describes the activities of two projects that were carried out using the infrastructure of the Nordic Food Analysis Network, i.e. the ‘Nordic Food Composition Data for Labelling (NordCoLa)’ project carried out between 2018 and 2020, and the preceding project ‘Fostering the quality and use of Nordic food composition data’, carried out under the Finnish Presidency of the NCM in 2016. The primary aim of the NordCoLa project was to evaluate the needs, synergies and critical points of the Nordic FCDBs (e.g. food ingredient and nutrient value gaps) in relation to the composition data to be used to implement the new European nutrient labelling legislation. This was to ensure quality food composition data in the Nordic countries for food producers and other users for nutrient labelling purposes. The most important gaps were evaluated and summarised by this project. This project included an exercise comparing calculated and analysed nutrient information of selected Nordic food samples. This information was then compared with the acceptable tolerance limits in use in the EU. As part of the projects, two open seminars were organised in Helsinki; the first one on 16 October 2016 and the second on 17 April 2019. The seminars gathered a total of around 150 participants together to hear about challenges in the area of food composition data and their use in food labelling and related quality issues. In addition, the project included research on food label information in order to evaluate the usefulness of the Mintel Global New Products’ Database (Mintel GNPD) and GS1 in the work of updating and compiling information used in food composition databases. The network’s main conclusions and strategical proposals are as follows: • There is a need for more analyses and continuous compiling work in order to ensure updated FCDBs for the users. Opportunities for Nordic collaboration in food analyses should be carefully evaluated. • More industrial ingredients need to be analysed and added to FCDBs. Obtaining such information is important to keep the databases useful, especially for SMEs in the food business. • The calculated values are of overall good quality when compared with analysed values, with the exception of protein, sugars and salt. This warrants more attention to take carbohydrates and especially simple sugars into account when planning future national food analysis programmes. Collecting more information on salt content and comparing it with the analysed information on food products is also needed. • There is no legislation for the methods to be used in the food analysis. This means that different methods are used and even different components may be measured resulting variation in nutrient contents. Sugars are an example of that, since different techniques measure total sugar content or different 7 sugar components separately and both ways are accepted for labelling purposes. • Calculating nutrient contents of food items according to a standardised method is a good and affordable way of producing values for food composition databases and food labelling purposes, if the data quality of the FCDBs are based on analysed values. • The acceptable variation in nutrient label information based on EC legislation tolerances is very large. The tolerances may even threaten the meaningful reformulation of food products and reliable consumer information due to uncertainties over the labelled nutrient values. • More information is needed regarding the validity of nutrient labelling at the Nordic and European level. To avoid misleading consumer information, food analyses should be used to check the validity of nutrient labelling and to monitor reformulation efforts. • Nutrient label data from commercial food label databases, for example, is not recommended to be used, in general, for updating nutrient values of foods in the national FCDBs. However, such databases were found to be partially useful in updating the coverage, i.e. food lists of national FCDBs, if the used databases cover most of the national market. • Nordic collaboration should be further intensified in the fields of analysing nutrient content of missing ingredients in FCDBs, harmonising nutrient label calculation procedures and proposing improvements to the European legislation concerning tolerances of nutrient values in labelling.
Subject: labeling
food
Nordic co-operation
nutrient
food quality
food consumption
legislation
Licens: CC BY-SA 4.0


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