Nutriscore product label changes

A report by the OCU consumer association has revealed that in an effort to better adjust the Nutriscore assessment to dietary recommendations, a group of scientists has updated the algorithm for solid foods, making the A grade much more difficult to achieve.

Nutriscore is a labelling on food products intended to show, at a glance, information about the nutritional quality of a packaged food. It is a graphic representation that appears on the front of the food packaging.

The assessment is expressed with letters (from A to E) and colours (from dark green to red) where A and dark green correspond to the healthiest option from a nutritional point of view. On the opposite side is the E in red, indicating it is the least healthy option.


Now, a scientific committee has updated the calculation of the algorithm to make the assessment stricter when it comes to scoring the presence of sugar and salt (penalised more), and also when assessing the presence of fibre and protein (it is more encouraged).

The result is that with this allocation of points it is more difficult to obtain an A rating.

What changes in each food?

By food groups, these are the main changes:

Oily fish: products without added salt or oil will get a better score.

Ripened cheeses with lower salt content will be better valued.

100% whole grain products (bread, flour, pasta, etc.) are better valued than refined ones.

Nuts and oilseeds will not be valued as fruits and vegetables, but following the criteria of the group of fats, which improves their Nutriscore evaluation.

Vegetable oils rich in unsaturated fats are now better valued, in such a way that olive oil obtains a B instead of the initial C.

Sugary products (breakfast cereals, dairy desserts, cookies, pastries, etc.) will be penalised more by the changes in the algorithm.

Prepared dishes, due to their higher content of salt and saturated fat, will now be less valued.

Next step: the drinks

The scientific committee plans to announce changes to the calculation of the Nutriscore for beverages this autumn.

In this way, the new Nutriscore algorithm would be ready by the end of this year.

Of course, a transition period is planned so that manufacturers can adapt their labelling to this change.

Mark Nolan

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