Performance of the Front-of-Pack Nutrition Label Nutri-Score to Discriminate the Nutritional Quality of Foods Products: A Comparative Study across 8 European Countries

Nutrients. 2020 May 2;12(5):1303. doi: 10.3390/nu12051303.


Abstract: In Europe, discussions are currently ongoing to harmonize front-of-pack nutritional labelling, while some countries have adopted or are considering implementing the Nutri-Score. However, its adaptability to multiple nutritional contexts in Europe requires further investigation. This study aimed to evaluate the applicability of the Nutri-Score in various European countries, regarding its ability to discriminate the nutritional quality of foods and its consistency with national dietary recommendations. The European Food Information Resource (EUROFIR) nutritional composition databases from eight European countries (Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland) were used. The distribution of foods across the Nutri-Score classes within food groups was assessed, as well as the discriminating performance of the label, and the adequacy of nutritional recommendations. The Nutri-Score demonstrated high discriminating ability for all food groups, with similar trends in the eight countries, and consistency with nutritional recommendations. For instance, fruit and vegetable products were mainly classified in the two healthiest Nutri-Score categories, while sugar and animal fat products were mainly classified in the two less healthy categories of the Nutri-Score. Our results support the fact that the Nutri-Score would be a relevant tool to discriminate the nutritional quality of products within and across relevant food groups in different European countries, with consistency with nutritional recommendations.

Keywords: European countries; discriminating performance; front-of-pack nutritional labelling; nutritional recommendations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Europe
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food Labeling*
  • Food Packaging*
  • Food Quality*
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances*