Nutrient profiling (NP) models are useful tools for objectively and transparently quantifying the nutritional quality of packaged foods and beverages. Many NP models incorporate ingredients beneficial for health (e.g., fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes (FVNL)) in addition to less healthful nutrients or components, assigning points based on the proportion of the product that contains FVNL ingredients. However, with food labelling in most countries lacking mandatory quantitative ingredient declarations (QUIDs), there is potential for the estimation of FVNL points to be ambiguous and inconsistent. The purpose of this article was to describe the development and application of methodology for estimating FVNL points for products without QUIDs, based on the position of FVNL components within the ingredients list. Using this method, FVNL points were calculated for packaged foods and beverages in the University of Toronto Food Label Information Program 2017 database (n = 17,337). Distributions of FVNL points were examined overall and by food category. This study provides evidence of the feasibility of this method in distinguishing between products with differing amounts of FVNL ingredients. This method will be valuable for researchers and policymakers in ensuring consistent, objective and reproducible estimations of FVNL points-and consequently, assessments of product healthfulness-for food supplies without QUIDs.
Bibliographical noteThis article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- Fvnl points
- Nutrient profiling
- Nutrition policy