Cereals, milk, meat… What will change with the new Nutri-score

by time news

2024-01-03 17:57:47

No more messing around with the Nutri-Score. From the start of the year, the calculation method will become more and more demanding. In force since 2017, the Nutri-Score is a labeling system which aims to inform – from the letter A to the letter E – the consumer about the health benefits or disadvantages of foods sold in stores. It is also present in other European countries, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Even among its defenders, it was the subject of criticism which, without calling into question its merits, focused on the obsolete or inappropriate nature of some of its recommendations. It is with this in mind that those responsible revised, in two stages, its calculation algorithm.

Changes coming to 30 to 40% of products

“The changes concern both solid foods and drinks, in order to better adhere to nutritional recommendations, such as consuming more fruits and vegetables, or fewer sugary products,” explains Mathilde Touvier, epidemiologist, to AFP. in nutrition at Inserm, director of the research team that invented the Nutri-Score. With the initial algorithm, “too many products were, for example, favorably well classified even though their sugar level was in fact very high,” she illustrates.

The changes should affect 30 to 40% of products on the shelves. As for cereals, only sugar-free mueslis will retain an A. Chocapic, which benefited from this good rating, is downgraded to C. Special K will go from B to C, Lion cereals from C to D. Flours with whole grains will now be rated higher than others. Oily fish, hitherto penalized, will also be better ranked. Certain oils, with a favorable fatty acid profile (olive, rapeseed, nuts), will go from C to B.

The milk does not cream

On the other hand, the milk grade will drop from A to B for skimmed milk, from B to C for whole milk. “Too many people drink it as if it were water”, the only drink recommended in category A, explains Mathilde Touvier. Sweet yogurts like Yop or Candy-up will lose two letters, from B to D.

Sweetened drinks will go from B to C. A change reflecting the conclusions of recent work which suggested that sweeteners had “deleterious effects on health”, underlines Serge Hercberg, professor of nutrition at Sorbonne Paris Nord University, designer of the Nutri-Score. As for red meat, it will now be systematically ranked lower than poultry or fish.

A two-year transition

If these changes officially came into force on January 1, a two-year transition period is left for manufacturers to sell off their stocks and reprint their labels. “The display will be done as the new packaging is renewed,” Dominique Schelcher, CEO of Système U, declared Wednesday morning on France Inter, describing the tightening of the rules as “very good news.”

However, the logo is not obligatory. “Today, 1,200 manufacturers and distributors are involved in the process, which represents around 60% of the market,” indicates Serge Hercberg.

The discontent of industrialists

The new rules “have awakened the lobbies, who are very active in this area,” continues Serge Hercberg, of Sorbonne Paris Nord University. “They put a lot of weight behind ensuring that the logo did not become obligatory at European level.”

Large groups such as Ferrero, Coca-Cola, Mars, Lactalis and Unilever International refuse and fight the Nutri-Score, as do certain agricultural unions or states, such as Italy, keen to defend the interests of their agri-food sector. The new rules have even led some groups to backpedal, like Bjorg: the brand recently removed the logo from all its packaging, replacing it with an environmental sustainability indicator, which has nothing to do with it.

#Cereals #milk #meat.. #change #Nutriscore

You may also like

Leave a Comment