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Nutrient Profiling – Scientific Advice for the EU Farm to Fork Initiative

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energy, saturated fat, sodium, added sugar/free sugar They are too expensive in Europe, and reducing them helps fight chronic diseases related to unhealthy diets. An increase in the

These are among the key findings of EFSA’s scientific advice related to nutrient profiling released today.our nutrition Experts shouldnutrients Food constituents of public health importance to Europeans, food groups that play an important role in the European diet, and scientific criteria to guide nutrient selection for nutritional profiling.

The European Commission has sought scientific advice from EFSA to inform both the development of a future EU-wide system for front-of-pack nutrition labeling and the conditions for restricting nutrition and health claims on foods. I was. Importantly, EFSA does not evaluate or propose any specific nutrient profiling model for any of these purposes. (See the FAQ below for more opinions.)

Extensive involvement during consultation

EFSA has held a public consultation on the draft opinion from November 2021 to January 2022. This generated 529 comments from 83 organizations and individuals in 21 countries.

Ana Afonso, Head of ESFA’s Nutrition and Food Innovation Unit, said: Our scientists have reviewed all comments and considered all questions. Your comments helped clarify the scope of our assessment and more accurately portray the scientific contributions from factors outside EFSA’s jurisdiction. “

Some comments indicated misunderstandings about EFSA’s role and responsibilities in the nutrition sector. These issues are resolved in the FAQs below.

what happens next?

As part of the Farm to Fork strategy, the European Commission will propose amendments to existing legislation on providing food information to consumers. End of 2022. EFSA’s Scientific Opinion informs the Commission’s proposals, together with other evidence collected by the Commission. Future updates are published on the committee’s website so you can follow them.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What scientific criteria should be used to guide nutrient selection for nutritional profiling?

Nutrient choices should be based primarily on public health importance, where excessive or inadequate intake is associated with adverse health effects. However, it may be included for other reasons, for example because it is a marker for other nutrients of public health importance, or to prioritize consumption of certain foods within the same food category.

As an example of the latter, in our opinion risk managers may decide to include omega-3 in nutritional profiling models to encourage consumption of fatty fish in line with dietary recommendations. Please be careful. Data on intake of these fatty acids are insufficient to determine whether they are being consumed in adequate amounts, but they may choose to do so.

  1. Which nutrients can be considered in a nutrient profiling model?

The following can be considered in a nutrient profiling model:

  • Intakes of saturated fat, sodium, and added/free sugars exceed dietary recommendations for most European populations, and excessive intake is associated with adverse health effects.
  • Considering the high prevalence Decreasing overweight and obesity in Europe and reducing energy intake are of public health importance to European populations.
  • Dietary fiber and potassium intakes are inadequate in most European adult populations, and inadequate intakes are associated with adverse health effects.
  • iron, calcium, vitamin Intakes of D, folic acid, and iodine are inadequate in certain subpopulations. Increasing dietary intake of these nutrients is often not sufficient to meet their needs, but Some foods/food groups make important contributions to intakeThese are usually addressed by national policy and/or individual advice.
  1. What are the main food groups that contribute to the European diet?

Dietary roles and relative contributions of various food groups vary across European countries due to dietary habits and traditions.

They include starchy foods (mainly cereals and potatoes), fruits and vegetables, legumes and legumes, milk and dairy products, meat and meat products, fish and shellfish, nuts and seeds, and non-alcoholic beverages. increase. Member State guidelines.

  1. What food groups are recommended at the national level?

National guidelines encourage consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, reduced-fat milk and dairy products, fish and water. Foods high in saturated fat, sugar, and/or sodium due to food processing are generally not recommended, even within these food categories.

National guidelines also advocate the regular consumption of legumes and legumes (particularly red and processed meats) that partially replace meat, and vegetable oils rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (olive, sunflower, corn, rapeseed, etc.) consumption. Saturates (such as palm oil, coconut oil, butter, and other animal fats).

  1. Has EFSA been asked to set a nutrient profile to limit pre-packaging and nutrition and health claims on food? why?

The European Commission as risk manager proposes a nutrient profiling model to be used for these two different purposes. That’s not EFSA’s job.

Our scientific experts said the same scientific considerations can underpin the setting of nutrient profiling models for both purposes. It is the risk manager’s choice whether to

The European Commission sought scientific advice only on a few specific aspects: identification of nutrients and non-nutrients (energy, dietary fiber, etc.) of public health importance to European populations, importance in the European diet; food groups with different roles, and possible criteria. Guide the selection of nutrients and non-nutritive food ingredients for nutritional profiling models.

EFSA was not asked: whether a nutrient profile should be established by food in general and/or by food category; how the profile is calculated (threshold (i.e., product energy units, weight units, or volume units vs. per portion); or feasibility and testing of nutrient profiling models. These aspects were addressed by EFSA in 2008 in relation to setting up a nutrient profile for foods with nutrition and health claims, but will be out of scope in 2022.

Further information

For background on the scope of this scientific advice and answers to questions about our nutritional role, please see our more detailed FAQ.