Breakfast Cereals - Front of Pack Nutritional Signpost Labelling by dfsdf224s

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									Adopters and Supporters Meeting 05 September 2007

Front of Pack Nutritional Signpost Labelling – Breakfast Cereals Criteria


Purpose
To update the Food Standards Agency’s Adopters and Supporters Group of the work
undertaken by the Breakfast Cereals Technical Sub-Group to develop nutrition
signposting criteria for breakfast cereals following the publication of consumer
research on breakfast cereals.

To seek agreement on the proposed nutritional criteria for breakfast cereals that will
be included in the signpost technical guidance detailed at Annex 1.

Background
Current UK dietary recommendations are to reduce consumption of non-milk
extrinsic sugars (NMES). Concern was expressed by some adopters that by labelling
total sugars on the front of pack signpost, breakfast cereals high in fruit but with little
added sugars and cereals high in added sugars only would both be labelled red for
sugars, and that this would not help consumers make healthier choices.

Therefore, when the Agency published its Front of Pack Nutritional Signpost
Labelling Technical Guidance in January 2007, it stated that further consumer
research would be carried out to understand how consumers consider nutritional
information for breakfast cereals should be presented, particularly in relation to sugars
and breakfast cereals which contain high levels of fruit, prior to criteria for breakfast
cereals being decided. This research was commissioned in February 2007 and the
final report was published in May 2007, at:
http://www.food.gov.uk/foodlabelling/signposting/sugarslabcereals


Consumer research
The main research findings were that consumers:
− wanted front of pack nutritional signposts to be based on:
   − dry weight;
   − one standard amount, not a varying recommended serving size.
− wanted information on source of sugars (‘natural’, ‘added’) on pack, however
   there was no agreement on how this was best displayed.
− trusted the FSA to determine how best to indicate source of sugars.
− wanted the signpost to remain simple, clear and accurate.

At the Adopters and Supporters meeting held on 27 April 2007, it was agreed that:
− both the colour coding and the nutrient information in a portion should be based
    on dry weight breakfast cereal.
− the colour coding should be based on one standard reference amount, not on a
    varying portion size.
− further consideration was required as to the nutritional criteria with respect to
    sugars and breakfast cereals.
− a subgroup of adopters and supporters would be convened to advise on the
   nutritional criteria for the Agency’s front of pack approach for breakfast cereals
   which would take account of the consumer research findings.

Proposals considered
European Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims states for
‘low sugars’ claims a product may not contain more than 5g / 100g total sugars.
Colour coding for green for breakfast cereals must, therefore, use this criterion. It
was noted the Regulation also requires the statement ‘contains naturally occurring
sugars’ if sugars are naturally present and a no added sugars claim is made.

The working group has assessed a number of possible options for amber / red sugars
criteria and how the information should be displayed in the signpost. Only options
which were felt to meet the following parameters were explored:
− presents sugars information accurately and honestly in a format that was easy for
    consumers to interpret.
− would help consumers put into practice UK dietary recommendations to limit
    NMES intake by distinguishing between added sugars and intrinsic sugars in order
    to quickly make healthier choices.

 Options considered
1. Setting an amber / red boundary for total sugars
   The group considered the impact of setting this boundary at various levels,
   including the Agency’s original position of 15g / 100g, against a reference
   spreadsheet of 253 cereals from a range of retailer and manufacturer brands
   currently available in the market. Considered with this option was the possibility
   of incorporating text with the signpost to highlight when sugars came from
   intrinsic sources, e.g. fruit, or milk.

   While this option keeps the signpost consistent and simple for consumers, and
   additional information can be used to help inform consumers of the sugars source,
   it was felt to have a number of disadvantages:
   − it does not distinguish between added and intrinsic sugars.
   − there was also concern that associated text highlighting the source of the
       sugars would not be noticed by consumers.
   − the ‘red’ message of eat infrequently or in small amounts is not appropriate for
       high fruit mueslis.

2. Setting an amber / red boundary for added sugars
   The retailers and manufacturers on the working group supplied information on
   added sugars to enable an assessment of the impact of this option; information
   was provided for 83 cereals.

   This option would enable consumers to differentiate at a glance between products
   that are high in added sugars compared to those that are high in intrinsic sugars
   and by maintaining nutritional information in grams as total sugars it still informs
   consumers of the overall sugars intake. The disadvantage is that it would result in
   two cereals having a different colour code but the same total sugars information,
   however this could be explained by text on the back of pack. It also increases the
   burden on retailers and manufacturers by requiring additional nutrition
   information.

3. Include an additional ‘added sugars’ element to the signpost.
   In this option separate information and colour coding for total sugars and added
   sugars would be provided in the core of the signpost for breakfast cereals. This
   approach would enable consumers to tell at a glance if products are high in added
   sugars whilst maintaining information on total sugars.

   However, the consumer research suggested that knowledge of sugars and their
   sources was patchy and there was a concern that this option may result in more
   consumer confusion and difficulty in interpreting the sugars element of the
   signpost as well as reducing consistency (the signpost on breakfast cereals would
   look different to that on other foods). It was also noted that it would place an
   increased burden on retailers and manufacturers to supply additional nutrition
   information in relation to sugars.

4. Exclude no added sugar products from the signposting categories.
   It was suggested that breakfast cereals that have no added sugar, predominantly
   fruit mueslis, could be excluded from the recommended signposting categories.
   However there was a concern that consumers may be suspicious as to the
   motivation behind not signposting a product and this could have a negative impact
   on these products. Furthermore, it would not enable consumers to make
   comparisons and choice within the breakfast cereal category

Recommendations for breakfast cereals criteria
The working group unanimously consider option 2, basing the colour code on added
sugars, as the solution which is most likely to help consumer choices in line with
current UK dietary guidelines and to be practical to implement.

Adopters and Supporters are asked to consider and agree to the following
recommendations in relation to breakfast cereals:

− Colour code and nutrition information is based on breakfast cereal dry weight.

− The amber / red colour code for breakfast cereals is based on added sugars.

− The amber / red boundary is >12.5g / 100g, based on 25% of the COMA
   recommendation for NMES. This is the equivalent of the Agency’s Medium /
   High boundary for other nutrients.

− Additional text is provided on the breakfast cereal packet (front or back of pack)
   to explain the colour code takes into account that sugars in the product are from
   fruit (or other intrinsic sources).

− The green colour code for breakfast cereals remains based on total sugars to
   ensure compliance with European Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.
− Nutrition information is provided for total sugars in a portion.

− Colour code for all other nutrients is as defined in the Agency’s Front of Pack
   Nutritional Signpost Labelling - Technical Guidance, Section 2.1, Table 1.


28 August 2007
       Annex 1

       Amendment to the front of pack nutritional signpost labelling technical guidance

       It is recommended the following text and worked examples are inserted into the front
       of pack nutritional signposting technical guidance.

       Nutritional criteria for breakfast cereals
       Unlike many other processed foods, breakfast cereals may contain high total sugars
       due to a high proportion of intrinsic sugars from fruit content. In line with COMA
       advice not to limit intake of intrinsic sugars, the colour code for breakfast cereals is
       based on added sugars, which will enable consumers to distinguish between breakfast
       cereals which are high in added sugars and those high in sugars due to high fruit
       content. Due to EU legislation on Nutrition and Health Claims, however, only cereals
       that contain a total sugars of 5g or less can be coded green. If the added sugars are
       less than 5g but the total sugars are more, then the product must be coded amber for
       sugars.

       The nutrition information declared on the signpost in grams in a portion must relate to
       total sugars present.

       For the purposes of the Agency’s front of pack nutrition signpost scheme, added
       sugars is defined as any mono- or disaccharide or any other food used for its
       sweetening properties. This would include, but is not exclusively limited to:
       sucrose, fructose, glucose, glucose syrups, fructose-glucose syrups, corn syrups,
       invert sugar, honey, maple syrup, malt extract, dextrose, fruit juices, deionised fruit
       juices, lactose, maltose, high maltose syrups, Agave syrup, dextrin and maltodextrin.
       All sugars contained in dried fruit and milk powder are excluded.


       Table X – Breakfast cereals
              Green (Low) Amber (Medium)                                                          Red (High)
Fat                 ≤ 3.0 g/100g            > 3.0 to ≤ 20.0 g/100g                > 20.0 g/100g           > 21.0g / portion
Saturates           ≤ 1.5 g/100g            > 1.5 to ≤ 5.0 g/100g                 > 5.0 g/100g            > 6.0g / portion
Sugars 1            ≤ 5.0 g/100g                ≤ 12.5 g/100g                     12.5 g/100g 2           > 15.0g / portion 3


Salt                ≤ 0.30 g/100g >0.30 to ≤ 1.50g/100g                           > 1.50 g/100g           > 2.40g / portion


       1
           Sugars in the context of breakfast cereals must be considered in terms of total and added sugar components.
       Green (low) cannot contain more than 5g total sugar.
       Amber (medium). Total sugar exceeds 5g. Added sugar is up to or including 12.5g.
       Red (high) . Total sugar exceeds 5g. Added sugar is more than 12.5g.
       2
           As the colour code is based on added sugars, the amber/red boundary is based on 25% of COMA advice on NMES
       which equates to 12.5g / 100g. Further details are given in section 2.3.
       3
           As the colour code is based on added sugars, the per portion amber/red boundary is based on 30% of COMA
       advice on NMES which equates to 15g / 100g. Further details are given in section 2.3.
 The Agency recommends where breakfast cereals have a high intrinsic sugars content
 and are colour coded amber, additional text is provided on the pack to inform
 consumers of this.

 Worked examples

 Product 1 – Breakfast cereal (e.g. wheat biscuits)
                     Per 100g              Per portion
                                           (45g, dry weight)
 Fat                 2.5g                  1.1g
 Saturates           0.5g                  0.2g
 Sugars              0.9g                  0.4g
 Added sugars        0.0g                  0.0g
 Salt                0.02g                 0.01g

• As this is a breakfast cereal, table X will be used to determine the signpost.
• The total sugars is less than 5g, therefore colour coding is green.
                                     Banding
 Fat                                 Green
 Saturates                           Green
 Sugars                              Green
 Salt                                Green


 Product 2 – Breakfast cereal (e.g. high fruit muesli)
                     Per 100g               Per portion
                                            (50g, dry weight)
 Fat                 3.0g                   1.5g
 Saturates           0.7g                   0.4g
 Sugars              29.4g                  15g
 Added sugars        0.0g                   0.0g
 Salt                0.04g                  0.02g

• As this is a breakfast cereal, table X will be used to determine the signpost.
• The total sugars is more than 5g, therefore colour coding cannot be green. Amber /
  red colour coding is determined by added sugars.
• The nutrient information in a portion is given for total sugars, i.e. 15g
                                     Banding
 Fat                                 Green
 Saturates                           Green
 Sugars                              Amber
 Salt                                Green
 Product 3 – Breakfast cereal (e.g. flakes, nuts and fruit)
                     Per 100g                Per portion
                                             (40g, dry weight)
 Fat                 4.6g                    1.8g
 Saturates           0.6g                    0.2g
 Sugars              25.9g                   10.4g
 Added sugars        14.5g                   5.8g
 Salt                0.64g                   0.26g

• As this is a breakfast cereal, table X will be used to determine the signpost.
• The total sugars is more than 5g, therefore colour coding cannot be green. Amber /
  red colour coding is determined by added sugars.
• The nutrient information in a portion is given for total sugars, i.e. 10.4g
                                     Banding
 Fat                                 Amber
 Saturates                           Green
 Sugars                              Red
 Salt                                Green

								
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