Dr.Aileen Connolly, Dietary Intake Specialist at Creme Global, presenting at the recent Nutrition and Health Foundation's (NHF) annual seminar
When we talk about reformulation in this case, we are referring to the efforts of Irish food manufacturers to reduce levels of energy, fats (total and saturated), sugar and sodium in their products. This is obviously an extremely worthwhile endeavour; we all know if we reduce our intakes of these particular nutrients, we can, in theory, reduce incidences of health conditions, such as obesity and coronary heart disease (CHD).
Using nutrient data from a number of the top Irish food manufacturers, our Creme Nutrition tool will allow us to investigate intakes of these nutrients before and after the reformulated products have entered the Irish market. Furthermore, by applying market share data to these assessments, we will produce an increasingly realistic picture of the potential impact these reformulated products have on Irish consumers health. Finally, we will investigate tonnes reduction of these nutrients based on actual sales data of the products. All sections of the investigation will combine to give us a very clear picture of the true impact the reformulated products have for Irish consumers.
Similar initiatives have been rolled out elsewhere, for example, UK food manufacturers have also been encouraged to reduce levels of these nutrients1, but none have focused on the g/day or kcal/day impact of these efforts. It will be interesting to see how results from the Creme Global Reformulation Project compare to similar initiatives. Furthermore, results from this project may raise a number of interesting questions… Has introducing these reformulated products into the Irish market had a positive impact on consumers overall health? Will Irish consumers intakes of these nutrients fall closer to recommended levels as a result of this reformulation? These are all questions the Creme Global Reformulation Project will shed light on in the coming months.
1.Food Standards Agency (FDA). Saturated Fat and Intake Programme (2008). Available at: http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/satfatprog.pdf