Symposium to focus on bakery product labelling

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

A new forum, the first of its kind to focus solely on how to
successfully label bread and other bakery products with nutritional
information, is due to take place in Brussels this April.

The symposium - co-organised by the Federation of the European Union Manufacturers and Suppliers of Ingredients to the Bakery, Confectionery and Patisserie Industries (Fedima) - is necessary in today's climate as the food industry has moved on from "simple lists of ingredient",​ spokesman Jean-Christophe Kremer told BakeryAndSnacks.com. According to Kremer, this kind of discussion is also particularly important in the bakery industry as it is often behind other sectors in terms of labelling. "Consumers are increasingly looking for nutritional values on their food products, but they do not yet feature on many bakery and pastry products,"​ he said. "Yet if shoppers start to look for them on chocolate and vegetables, why should bakery products be left behind?" ​During the symposium a variety of speakers from various trade organisations and the European commission will discuss how to most effectively show the nutrient content of a product and how to show it to consumers, for example using the Guideline Daily Amount system. The GDA system, promoted by companies such as Kraft and Nestle last year, tells consumers the percentage of the adult male Guideline Daily Amount of the four key nutrients that a product contains. Kremer said that the discussions will remain open to all types of nutritional labelling, but added that he felt that the industry is generally moving away from traffic light labels. The FSA's traffic light system rates each product as high (red light), medium (amber light) or low (green light) in the four key nutrients, but Kremer argued that many food manufacturers feel they give a skewed idea of the health benefits of a product. "For example, a coca-cola drink would get a green label for fats, but it is made almost entirely of sugar and does not have many health benefits,"​ he said. The symposium will also focus on the new European nutrition and health claims regulations, and how they will affect bakers wishing to make claims such as "calcium rich"​ or "low in salt". ​According to Kremer, attendants will also have the chance to discuss the research & development involved in making the products these claims are attributed to. For example, a manufacturer wishing to make a "low in salt" claim will also be able to talk about how to develop bread that is low in salt, and how to promote it, he said. Other regulations, involving additives and flavourings, and their relationship to labelling, will also be discussed, Kremer added. "Challenges of Labelling Bakery Products",​ organised by Fedima and Cereals and Europe (C&E), will take place in Brussels on 24 - 25 April 2008.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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