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The front-pack nutritional labelling scheme adopted in Italy, also proposed as a harmonized European scheme. For an aware choice.
A new label
Why a new label
Nutrinform Battery nutritional label on the front of the packaging was created in view of the need to find a way to fight pathologies linked to life style and diet like obesity. Intervene on food products to induce people to change their eating habits could be a winning strategy.
Let’s start from the famous assumption that obesity is a multi-factor pathology and the single foods are not to blame, but the wrong life style of people, hence the entire diet should be corrected in order to avoid over-weight/obesity.
What is Nutrinform Battery
LA PROPOSTA ITALIANA PER UN SISTEMA DI ETICHETTATURA NUTRIZIONALE FRONTE PACCO ARMONIZZATO A LIVELLO EUROPEO
All the indicated values concern the single portion.
Each box indicates the quantity of calories, fats, saturated fats, sugars and salt of the single portion. The energy content is expressed in Joule and Calories. The contents of fats, saturated fats, sugars and salt are expressed in grams.
Inside the ‘’battery’’ symbol there is a percentage of energy, fats, saturated fats, sugars and salt contained in each single portion in relation to the suggested daily quantity. The daily quantities recommended in EU are:
Energy: 8400 kJ / 2000 kcal
Fats: 70 g
Saturates: 20 g
Sugar: 90 g
Salt: 6 g
The charged section of the battery shows graphically the percentage of energy or nutrients contained in the single portion, allowing to quantify it also visually. The sum of the foods eaten during the day can “fill” the battery charge without surpassing a certain limit, in order not to exceed the suggested daily intake quantities.
The nutritionists of the Italian Institute of Health (ISS) and the Food and Economic Research Council (CREA) and the representatives of category associations of the food and agricultural sectors and consumers were engaged in this project, led by four Ministries (Health, Economic Development, Agriculture and Foreign Affairs).
The reference parameters used to calibrate the single batteries (one for each single critical element, meaning calories, total fats, saturated fats, sugars and salt) are the European parameters set forth by table VIII of EU Regulation no. 1169/2011 – art. 35, which are also in line with LARN parameters (reference levels of nutrients for the Italian population).
In the Nutrinform Battery nutritional label, which is voluntary and not compulsory, each of the 5 batteries indicates to the consumer, the percentage and quantity of the variable it shows (calories, sugars, etc.) in relation to a portion of product being purchased. Hence, by simply looking at each single battery, the consumer is immediately informed about the exact percentage of the nutrient contained in a food portion in relation to the recommended maximum quantity, hence the quantity of that nutrient that he has still needs to take during the rest of the day.