Nutritional labelling on a product has been identified as one of the key tools that can help consumers make more informed, healthy choices at a glance, essential in the fight to reduce the rising obesity crisis.
Nutri-Score – also known as the 5-Colour Nutrition label (5-CNL) – is based on scientific research by the French High Council for Public Health and created by the country’s national public health agency, Santé Publique France.
The system converts the nutritional value of products into a simple code consisting of the first five letters of the alphabet with associated colours. The letter A (green) signifies products with the best-rated nutritional quality, while the letter E (red) denotes products with the lowest-rated nutritional quality.
Nutri-Score takes into account the ‘negative’ characteristics of the food (calories, sugar, saturated fat and sodium) and ‘positive’ characteristics of the food (fruit and vegetable content, fibre and protein levels) and condenses these into an easy-to-understand score.
“The Nutri-Score label is helping consumers make nutritious choices when filling their shopping baskets, and encouraging food producers to improve the nutritional value of their products,” said David Hart, business unit director for Salt of the Earth.
Nutri-Score has been officially recommended by the health authorities in France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Spain, as well as by the European Commission and WHO. In addition, multinational companies like Nestlé and Danone have adopted it for products sold on the European market.
Umami flavour compounds
According to Salt of the Earth, its clean label ingredient can help improve a snack’s Nutri-Score by reducing its sodium content.
Mediterranean Umami - derived from natural plant extracts rich in umami flavour compounds - can be used as a 1:1 drop-in replacement for salt in snack applications. Available in powder and liquid form, the company claims it can reduce sodium by up to 45%, improving the Nutri-Score by 3-5 points, which, in many cases, is enough to improve the overall letter score.
“We have seen increased interest from customers seeking to improve the Nutri-Score of their products,” added Hart.
“Mediterranean Umami allows food manufacturers to significantly reduce the amount of sodium in their product, without compromising on flavour. It is an all-natural and clean-label solution, in line with consumer trends for simpler and easy-to-understand ingredients.”