A Slight Adjustment of the Nutri-Score Nutrient Profiling System Could Help to Better Reflect the European Dietary Guidelines Regarding Nuts
Year Published: 2022
Véronique Braesco 1, Emilio Ros 2 3, Azmina Govindji 4, Clélia Bianchi 1, Lise Becqueriaux 5, Belinda Quick
The consumption of nuts remains low among European populations despite widespread inclusion as a recommended food group across European dietary guidelines. Front-of-Pack nutrition labelling systems are designed to support consumers make healthier choices and to stimulate product improvement, thus representing a pivotal opportunity to reduce the gap between intakes and recommendations. This study examined how the Nutri-Score algorithm treats nuts and nut-containing products and tested whether slight adjustments could better recognise and motivate nut inclusion in foods and diets. The nutritional score (ScN) and corresponding Nutri-Score letter of 68 nuts and nut-containing products were calculated, using the initial algorithm and slight adjustments, where nut weight was doubled (S1), saturated fats (S2) or energy (S3) from nuts were discounted, or saturated fats were replaced by the saturated fats/lipid ratio (S4).
Key Findings: The correlation between the nuts' content and the ScN was moderate for the initial algorithm (R2 = 0.34) and S1 (R2 = 0.36), but improved for S2, S3 and S4 (R2 = 0.54, 0.55 and 0.52, respectively). Four plain nuts, initially labelled as "B" or "C" obtained a Nutri-Score "A" with S2, S3 and S4. Slight adjustments could better align the Nutri-Score with food-based dietary guidelines, reassure consumers on healthfulness of nuts and nut-containing products, whilst incentivising the inclusion of nuts in diverse foods.