Meeting challenging targets to make food healthier
Nestlé’s product reformulation system is an effective way to reduce sugar, salt and fat and increase other healthy nutrients, according to a new study published by the European Journal of Nutrition (EJON).
The Nestlé Nutritional Profiling System (NNPS) divides foods into 32 categories – everything from noodles, pizzas and cereal-based foods, to soups, biscuits, cheeses, dairy desserts and sauces – and provides ‘nutrient targets’ for a serving of each, according to your age.
“This seminal work, done in collaboration with worldwide experts, is the foundation that guides the systematic improvement of our product's nutritional value. It is also the platform to launch the next generation of advanced, personalised nutritional guidance for our consumers,” said Stefan Catsicas, Nestlé's Chief Technology Officer.
Using international and national dietary guidelines, the NNPS limits specific nutrients in each category, but encourages others. For example, it advocates delivering protein and calcium through dairy foods, and wholegrains via cereal-based products.
The new Nestlé study examined the composition of 99 of the company’s most popular products in the US and France in 2009-10 and compared them with the same products in 2014-2015, after the NNPS had been applied.
Applying the NNPS, Nestlé cut salt by 22% on average in eight food categories, and total sugars by 31%. It also reduced Saturated Fatty Acids (SFAs) and total fats.
The scientists say that more work is underway to confirm the extent to which reformulation guided by NNPS helps people eat more healthily and improves their health.