However, despite the fact that the food product label has been the standard source of information for the consumers to date, the ‘clean label’ term has not been clearly defined; even the updated Food Information to the Consumer (FIC) does not provide information related to clean labels.
We conducted research and found the following common guidelines. To better align themselves with clean labeling, where possible, food producers should;
- Reduce the number of ingredients used in a product formulation
- Avoid using ingredients that have alarmed people in the past (i.e. salt, sugar, artificial additives, preservatives etc.) by reformulating the product. Where the ingredients cannot be completely replaced, a reduction of the content of these ingredients in the formulation could reorder the list of ingredients, not only a positive step for public health but also creating a cleaner label. Use ingredients that are easily recognised/accepted by consumers; often the names of the ingredients themselves are more acceptable than the E number notation
- Avoid using claims that may cause confusion to the consumers
- Provide transparency in food labeling
If reformulation is necessary, it can be challenging but possible to produce a ‘clean label’ product whilst maintaining the organoleptic properties, product safety & stability of the original product. Creme Global worked with the Food and Drink Industry Ireland to quantify reformulation efforts of major food and drink companies and this study revealed significant reductions in sugar, salt, calories, total fat and saturated fat.
How do clean labels impact consumers and their dietary quality overall? At Creme Global, we can calculate daily intakes and use predictive intake models to assess the impact new product formulation have on a given population. To find out more about our Creme Nutrition® platform and services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Don L. Zink (1997). The impact of consumer demands and trends on food processing. Emerging Infectious diseases, 4, 467-469.