Salad of chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, radish and greens. Dietary food. Buddha bowl. Vegan salad.

Czech Manufacturers Begin Using Nutri-Score Traffic Light System To Help Consumers Eat Healthy

A discussion is underway in the European Union about the colour-coded labelling of food products, the so-called Nutri-Score, to indicate how healthy they are. Some Czech food manufacturers are not waiting for legislation, and have started using the scheme themselves. Photo Credit: Freepik.

Czech Rep, Sep 23, (BD) – Nowadays, many consumers are more health-conscious than ever, and want to pay more attention to what is in the food they eat, while others have been eating more junk food as a result of the pandemic. The ability to understand food labels helps people choose healthy foods, and make informed decisions about their diet, but standard nutritional labelling regulations are complex, and the information itself can be very difficult for normal consumers to understand.

There is currently a discussion underway in the European Union about whether to adopt a system of colour-coded labeling of food products to indicate how healthy they are. The so-called Nutri-Score, a kind of traffic light system, would mark all food products on a scale from A (best) to E (worst), clearly visible on the front of the package. 

Some food producers in the Czech Republic are not waiting for European legislation, and have already started adding the Nutri-Score to their packaging. The Nestlé Group has added traffic lights to its own Garden Gourmet product line, and the system is also supported by the Czech muesli manufacturer Emco.

Nutri-Score was founded in 2013 in France, and was officially recommended by the French Health Ministry in 2017. It converts the nutritional value of a food product into a simple 5-letter ranking, from A to E, each with its own color, from green to red. Each product has a score based on a scientific algorithm, taking into account negative ingredients such as energy value, total fats, saturated fats, amount of sugars, salt, but also positive nutrients like the amount of protein, fiber, % share of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and good oils. The goal is to inform and educate consumers as much as possible about the composition of products.

The labelling is currently in use mainly in western Europe, proving successful in Belgium, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, but it was rejected in Italy, and is not yet in common use in eastern Europe. 

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