Nutri-score: what is it?
The Nutri-score is a food classification system based on the nutritional composition per 100g or 100ml.
How does it work?
It consists of a rating scale that can go from A (most healthy) to E (least healthy). The healthier the food, the more points are awarded. For this point calculation, positive factors are subtracted from negative factors.
For example, positive factors can be the proportion of fruits, vegetables and nuts, fiber and protein, high levels of which are considered good for health. Negative factors can be the amount of calories, saturated fat, sugars, and sodium, because high levels are considered harmful.
Why is it important?
The nutri-score scale was born from the need to simplify the nutritional information on products so that anyone, regardless of their knowledge of nutrition, can read and understand which products are best suited to a healthy diet. This scale is quick, easy and intuitive to read, so that the consumer can compare, at the time of purchase, the overall nutritional quality of foods of the same food group.
Does it only work for foods of the same food group?
Yes. That is, the nutri-score does not account for additives, degree of processing, pesticides, antibiotics, allergens and flavourings, nor does it account for serving size and method of preparation. In other words, it would be illogical to compare, for example, French fries with soft drinks, because the preparation methods and the ingredients of the products themselves are completely different.
The nutri-score evaluates the overall quality of the food and can compare foods of the same group with similar conditions of use. For example, breakfast cereals and crackers, cereal bars and bread.
It is also necessary, however, to keep in mind that the label applies to the product as sold and does not consider the method of preparation. For example, if you buy frozen potatoes and cook them in the oven, they will be healthier than if you fry them, but the packaging doesn't consider that if they are fried, the nutri-score is an E and if they are not, it's a D. The method of preparation, seasoning, and everything you can add to the product are not considered in the nutri-score.
Why I can't find the nutri-score on all products?
Adherence to the nutri-score is voluntary. Many brands already use it because they consider it to be efficient and scientifically sound. However, it is not mandatory for brands to have this information on their packaging, and for many it is not convenient at the commercial level to have this information visible, because if they don't have a well classified product, they don't want to lose customers. However, large brands are already starting to join this initiative and to change the composition of their products in a more conscious way to promote healthier eating.
At Nolita we have decided to adopt the nutri-score and you can see the ratings on each product page.
How can I know if the nutri-score is trustworthy?
It is an efficient and dynamic tool that is scientifically re-evaluated every three years. Whenever a product needs to be re-evaluated, the algorithm is rigorously reviewed and if necessary, changed to promote greater data consistency.
Curious about the nutri-score of the products you consume regularly?
You can view the nutri-score of every product with the Open Food Facts iPhone and Android mobile app, and on the Open Food Facts website.
Open Food Facts - World. Consulted in 01/06/2021, from Open Food Facts: https://world.openfoodfacts.org/
Nutri-Score. (15 April,2021) Consulted in 01/06/2021, from Santé Publique France: https://www.santepubliquefrance.fr/en/nutri-score
Calculate the Nutri-Score of your favourite products yourself. Consulted in 01/06/2021, from Colruyt Group: https://nutriscore.colruytgroup.com/colruytgroup/en/nutri-score-calculator