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Nutrition labelling

Showing what’s inside on the outside

In Germany, non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases or cancer are the main cause of death. Nutrition is an area which can actively reduce or increase the risk of disease and thus influence health as a whole.

One way of encouraging people to adopt a health-promoting lifestyle is to provide nutrition labelling on processed and ready-made products. Simple, transparent labelling should help shoppers to select products that contain more nutritional value for the body. At the same time, it gives products that are of greater nutritional value an advantage over less valuable ones.

According to EU law, manufacturers of ready-made products are obliged to state the amounts of energy, fat, saturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and salt on the outside of the packaging (Regulation [EU] No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council; Food Information for Consumers Regulation, EU FIC). Moreover, according to Art. 35 EU FIC, there is the option of additional voluntary nutrition labelling, known as ‘front of pack’ labelling.

Around the world there are many different nutrition labelling models. In the respective countries, consumer groups recognise and interpret them in various ways. The Max Rubner-Institut has drawn up a set of objective criteria for assessing nutrition labelling models. In four weeks, it also developed a draft model designed to amalgamate all the good and advantageous points already in existence. This model can be seen as a bridge between the various interests that need to be considered when introducing nutrition labelling – a bridge that, ideally, offers everyone a feasible way forward.