Nutrient profiling, logo’s, food reformulation
The term ‘nutrient profile’ refers to the nutrient composition of a food or diet. ‘Nutrient profiling is the science of classifying or ranking foods according to their nutritional composition for reasons related to preventing disease and promoting health’ (WHO).
Nutrient profiling schemes can serve various purposes, such as: product labelling logos or symbols, information and education, provision of food to public institutions, use of economic tools to orient food consumption, marketing of foods to children, identify foods for health and nutrition claims, and food reformulation.
In the EU, nutrient profiles have been set by EFSA, solely for the purpose for the Regulation on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods. EFSA in 2008, published its Scientific Opinion “The setting of nutrient profiles for foods bearing nutrition and health claims pursuant to Article 4 of the Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006”. To date, that Opinion has not been used yet by the EC to identify foods that can or cannot bear nutrition or health claims.
Nutrient profiling underlies many logo’s on foods across the world. In the Netherlands, nutrient profiles were the basis for the ‘Ik Kies Bewust’ (‘Het Vinkje’) logo that featured from 2006-2016. The logo identifies the healthier choices within a product group. Food reformulation was the driving force behind the logo. Whereas this logo stopped in the Netherlands in 2016, its international comparator is expanding (Choices International).
Detailed information can be found:
What do I offer
- Logo’s, food-based dietary guidelines, food reformulation considerations for public health.
- Framing and designing of food-reformulation projects, problem formulation.
- Execution of food-reformulation projects, publication and presentation of results.
- Presenting on nutrient profiling and the use of logo’s for food and nutrition.
- Collaboration in (EU) projects as an SME.
Expertise with the topic
- (Co-)author of various publications on nutrient profiling.
- Originator of a model to compare nutrient profiling schemes.
- Contributor to the EFSA Scientific Opinion on nutrient profiles (2008).
- Member of the scientific evaluation committee for the ‘Ik Kies Bewust’ – logo in the Netherlands.
Some key publications in the area
- Peters, S.; Verhagen, H. An Evaluation of the Nutri-Score System along the Reasoning for Scientific Substantiation of Health Claims in the EU—A Narrative Review. Foods 2022, 11, 2426.
- Verhagen H. & Peters S. (2022). Nutri-Score langs de EFSA-meetlat. Voeding Nu 5, 2022, 34-36.
- Jansen L., van den Berg H., Dekker M., Feskens E., Mensink R., Verhagen H., Seidell J. (2015). Voortgang wetenschappelijke onderbouwing criteria het Vinkje - Begrip consument cruciaal voor succes. Voeding Nu. 11: 8-10.
- Vyth E.L., Hendriksen M.A.H., Roodenburg A.J.C., Steenhuis I.H.M., van Raaij J.M.A., Verhagen H., Brug J., and Seidell J.C. (2011). Consuming a diet complying with front-of-pack label criteria may reduce cholesterol levels: a modeling study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Vyth E.L., Steenhuis I.H.M., Mallant S.F., Mol Z.L., Brug J., Temminghoff M., Feunekes G.I., Jansen L., Verhagen H. and Seidell J.C. (2009). A Front-of-Pack Nutrition Logo: A Quantitative and Qualitative Process Evaluation in the Netherlands. Journal of Health Communication, 14:7,631-645.
- van der Bend D., van Dieren J., de Vasconcelos Marques M., Wezenbeek N.L.W., Kostareli N., Guerreiro Rodrigues P., Temme E.H.M., Westenbrink S. & Verhagen H. (2014). A simple visual model to compare existing front-of-pack nutrient profiling schemes. European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety: 4(4): 429-534.
- van Raaij J., Hendriksen M., Verhagen H. (2008). Potential for improvement of population diet through reformulation of commonly eaten foods. Public Health Nutrition. 12 (3), 325-330.
- Verhagen H. & van den Berg H. (2008). A simple visual model to compare existing nutrient profiling schemes. Food & Nutrition Research, vol 52, 2008.