Food Product Reformulation and Labelling
Food Product reformulation
Produce reformulation has taken place to reduce the salt and fat content of manufactured foods. Working with the food industry and other stakeholders, the Food Standards Agency set a target to reduce the salt intake of the population to 6g per person per day by 2010. Since 2003, the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health have been working with the food industry to secure reductions in the amount of salt in a wide range of foods. This has focused particularly on processed foods as these contribute about 75% to people’s salt intakes.
A Food Standards Agency review of the evidence on trans fats
showed that voluntary action by the UK food industry has already delivered consumer benefits equivalent to the most restrictive legislation. Therefore, alongside continued monitoring of consumer intakes of trans fats, the FSA’s priority should be to work with industry on its reformulation of foods to reduce saturated fat levels. The Agency will also continue to encourage consumers to choose a diet that is low in saturated fat.
As part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal a Calorie Reduction Pledge has been announced by the English Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. This pledge will cut and cap calories in some of the world’s biggest food and drink manufacturers and best known brands.
The Food Standards Agency recommended a consistent approach to front of pack food labelling that will provide ‘at a glance’ information on labels about the nutritional content of foods through the use of traffic lights. For more information visit the Food Standards Agency website signposting section
Final Report on Front of Pack Labelling Published
An independent group of experts have been evaluating front of pack (FOP) nutrition labelling and published their report on 6 May 2009.
The report concluded that:
A single FOP scheme would be most helpful for shoppers
Overall, the balance of evidence demonstrated that the strongest FOP label is one which combines use of the words ‘high, medium, and low’, traffic light colours and percentage of Guideline Daily Amount (GDA), in addition to levels of nutrients in a portion of the product.
Shoppers who use FOP labels value them
There is a generally high level of understanding of FOP labels, even among those who don’t tend to use them.