Nutrition profiling: Kerry launches ‘simple, visual and user-friendly’ nutrition score tool

By Teodora Lyubomirova contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/BrianAJackson
GettyImages/BrianAJackson

Related tags: Nutrition, formulation, Obesity, Health claims

The taste and nutrition specialist aims to simplify formulation by including nutrient as well as legal requirements that cover 35 countries in an easy-to-use calculator. “This is something we have not experienced yet in the industry.”

Kerry Group has released a new tool designed to support manufacturers to optimise the nutritional profile of products and abide to various front-of-pack regulations.

KerryNutri Guide can measure food and beverages across a wide range of front-of-pack nutrition labelling systems and guide the user to a better score. For example, the Guide includes 11 global nutrient profile models that cover around 35 countries, including Europe’s NutriScore, the UK multiple traffic light system, Australia & New Zealand's health star ratings, the US FDA Nutritional Claims, and more.

Using data entered by the user, the tool measures the impact of a product that is packaged and ready for the end consumer, calculating energy as well as saturated fat, sugar, fiber, protein and salt content. KerryNutri Guide then displays the nutrient score of each input, showing areas that are close to or exceeding a regulatory or dietary threshold.

“To measure a product accurately, you need to understand the details of each model in depth,”​ explained Albert McQuaid, global chief science and technology officer at Kerry. “That is a very cumbersome task, and not realistic to expect everyone to have that knowledge. Our teams included the detailed technical and legal requirements of each front of pack labelling systems and incorporated them into a calculator that is simple, visual, and very user-friendly, that anyone can use.”

The tool could be game-changing when it comes to re-formulations, since it could significantly streamline an otherwise laborious process that often necessitates fine-tuning of ingredients to address the requirements of specific markets. “Each of the nutritional profiling systems have different requirements and restrictions,”​ McQuaid added. “For example, if a beverage contains >80% milk the NutriScore then measures that as a food. The Australian health Star rating has six separate food and beverage categories, all with a different set of scoring thresholds.

This is where such all-in-one tool could be particularly beneficial, as McQuaid explained: “The nutrients scored are specific to the model/regulation requirements. These mostly cover fats, sodium, sugars, energy, fibre, protein, and fruit, vegetable, nut content.”​ But fruit, vegetable and nut content are difficult to calculate, he added, since the methodology varies depending on the model. “We have integrated a dedicated fruit, vegetable, and nut calculator to do calculate this without the user needing prior understanding of the individual requirements of each model,”​ McQuaid said.

He concluded: “Using the detailed technical and legal requirements of each front of pack labelling systems and national legislation, the team created a system that can account for all exceptions and nuances of each profiling system in a very visual, user-friendly format.”

The tool is part of the Group’s internal system and will be used by its RDA team, we were told, so manufacturers who wish to access it would have to partner with Kerry. The tool’s scoring models can also be used to identify areas for reformulation and innovation. “Having 11 different models and regulatory policies combined into one system in a very visual format is something we have not experienced yet in the industry,”​ said McQuaid. “You can also take a focused view on each model, which also includes all the required background information on each model, so that everything you need is at your fingertips.”

The global profiles, listed:

1.         UK Multiple Traffic Light System

2.         UK HFSS model

3.         Europe NutriScore

4.         EU Nutritional Claims

5.         Beverage Sugar Levies for selected European countries

6.         Mexico Warning Labels

7.         Brazil Warning Labels

8.         Brazil Nutritional Claims

9.         Australia & New Zealand Health Star Rating

10.       Singapore’s NutriGrade

11.       USA FDA Nutritional Claims

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