Oral Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

A baseline survey on nutrition and health claims used on supermarket foods and beverages in New Zealand (282)

Donnell L Alexander 1
  1. Food Science team, Ministry for Primary Industries, Wellington, New Zealand

Background/Aims: The aim of this survey was to assess nutrition and health claims on foods available in New Zealand prior to the full implementation of Standard 1.2.7 Nutrition, Health and Related claims under the Food Standards Code (FSC).

Methods: Foods and beverages were randomly selected from a food label database (n=603) and from supermarket visits (n=80), in numbers proportionately represented by 17 categories.

Each label was analysed and the presence of any claims, nutrition information and nutrition profile scoring criteria data recorded. All products were assessed for compliance with the requirements of Standard 1.2.7, and reasons for non-compliance recorded.

Results: Nutrient content claims (NCCs) were found on 378 products, with up to 12 claims per label. General Level Health Claims (GLHCs) were on 34 products, with up to eight claims per label. No High Level Health Claims were found. Two products made therapeutic claims. The categories with the highest percentage of NCCs were snack foods, seafood, special purpose foods and dairy products.  The highest percentage of GLHCs were on special purpose foods, non-alcoholic beverages and fresh fruits and vegetables.   The majority of NCCs were compliant, while the majority of GLHCs were not.

Conclusions: Prior to Standard 1.2.7 coming in to full effect (in January 2016) most manufacturers appear aware of most requirements for NCCs, but not for GLHCs.  This baseline data informs MPI of key areas for collaborative work with manufacturers, focusing on specific regulatory requirements, and identifies areas of focus for future compliance surveys.

Funding source(s): MPI