4 July 2023
Nutriscore | Bakery Academy

What is nutriscore

Nutri-Score is a food choice logo. A Food Choice logo is an image on the front of food packaging. Nutri-Score gives the composition of a product a certain score, which can be found in a letter color code on the packaging.

Nutri-Score was developed in France. With this logo you can see which foods within the same product group have a better composition according to the Nutri-Score calculation model. A product group is, for example, bread, soft drinks, meat, pizza or ready meals.

To determine the score, 'positive' and 'negative' components of a product receive points. Positive components are the amount of protein, fiber, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and certain oils. These are subtracted from the points for negative components, namely the amount of energy, saturated fat, sugar and salt. This is how the calculation method is now designed, in the long term this may change due to revisions.

The result of the calculation method is translated into a score with colors ranging from dark green (A) to dark orange (E). A dark green A stands for the better composition within the product group, according to the Nutri-Score calculation model.

Nutri-Score looks at the nutrients and individual ingredients and not at the food as a whole. For example, in their method they make no difference between healthy and less healthy foods. So, for example, they keep vegetables and biscuits on the same yardstick. As a result, foodstuffs in almost all product groups can achieve a good score.

Generically a product can get positive points based on it Energy, Sugars, Saturated Fatty Acids and Sodium. From this fruits, fibers and proteins are subtracted to get scores between -15 (best) to +40 (worst). The details on how to score vary per item and suggest to that keeping the first part as low as possible and the second part as high as possible the best results may be achieved: reducing energy by less saturated fats and reducing sugars by increasing fibers and/ or proteins can shift already a product from an C or B category to an A one. 

For example, some diet sodas, white rice, pizza, dairy drinks with added sugar, or salted nuts may receive a green A or B, even though they aren’t seen as part of a daily healthy diet. And foods such as vegetable oils and lowfat cheese, which are considered as part of healthy diet, are given a C or D because these products provide a lot of energy. That is why it has a tendency to create confusion: Consuming only foods with A or B could lead to lack of certain micronutrients. Intended use starts with product group or product category comparisions: compare biscuits with biscuits and pizzas with pizzas, etc.

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