A survey of food items specialty samples conducted by the French consumer association, UFC-Que Choisir, uncovered Nutri-Rating labels do not penalize traditional products with protected status from the European Union.
The association analyzed 588 meals samples derived from 310 traditional products, lots of of which are certified with Safeguarded Geographical Sign (PGI) or Guarded Designation of Origin (PDO) status from the E.U.
UFC-Que Choisir wrote in a press launch that at least two-thirds of people samples “got superior grades” from Nutri-Score.
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Nutri-Score grades meals dependent on the contents these as extra fat, sugar, salt and calories in 100 grams or milliliters of the meals. It then premiums the food stuff with a color/letter code emblazoned on the packages, from the healthiest “Environmentally friendly A” down to the “Red E.”
In the survey, 62 percent of the tested food items products came out with a Nutri-Rating grade of A, B or C. Usage of such food items “is generally encouraged mainly because of their superior nutritional qualities,” UFC-Que Choisir wrote.
“There are 121 meals products classified as A and B, with olive oil classified as C, which is to be preferred to other forms of unwanted fat,” they added.
In the push launch, UFC-Que Choisir highlighted a few examples of renowned specialties, “traditional food items which exhibit to be very perfectly balanced, these kinds of as the Flemish hochepot, the Auvergne hotpot or the popular Castelnaudary cassoulet.”
Other examples contain traditional meat and cold cuts, fruits and legumes, all receiving the A and B ratings. In just the Nutri-Rating C classification, olive oils are in the company of products these kinds of as Alsatian spaetzle pasta or parsley ham from Burgundy.
The ratings exhibit that Nutri-Rating does not stigmatize local specialties, according to the association.
In the release, UFC Que-Choisir emphasized that foods products receiving a D or E from Nutri-Rating “are not intended to denigrate them or prohibit their consumption, but only imply it is recommended to consume them in moderate amounts and at reasonable frequencies.”
The association included that D or E‑rated products might have their position in a balanced food plan.
Nutri-Score inventor Serge Hercberg advised Olive Oil Moments in a July 2020 interview that Nutri-Rating ratings are intended to display consumers the greatest available option of foods in a given food stuff category.
For example, Nutri-Score considers olive oils the ideal preference in the fats category with its C, attributing a D to other fat this sort of as butter.
The association’s survey arrived on the heels of the ongoing heated discussion concerning Nutri-Score’s promoters and food producers which is intensifying as the European Commission’s self-imposed deadline of December to select a European-broad front-of-pack label methods.
A short while ago, several producers’ associations of iconic European cheeses, including the French Roquefort PDO or the Italian Parmigiano Reggiano PDO associations have voiced their opposition to the Nutri-Score.
They argued the French-born labeling system does not consider the nutritional qualities of individuals products and does not rate the food in quantities that will most likely be consumed as a daily serving.
Olive oil associations and producers in Spain, Italy and Greece have also argued that Nutri-Score’s grade does not accurately portray the health 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 genuine consumption.
The opposition to Nutri-Score’s possible introduction in Europe has been growing given that 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-Rating is the best resource available to allow for consumers to make a quick and educated decision when buying food items 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 meals manufacturers of their responsibility in a rearguard struggle to maintain opacity on unbalanced foods.”