Nutritional Assessment of Ready-to-Eat Salads in German Supermarkets: Comparison of the nutriRECIPE-Index and the Nutri-Score

Foods. 2022 Dec 11;11(24):4011. doi: 10.3390/foods11244011.


Globally, an unbalanced diet causes more deaths than any other factor. Due to a lack of knowledge, it is difficult for consumers to select healthy foods at the point of sale. Although different front-of-pack labeling schemes exist, their informative value is limited due to small sets of considered parameters and lacking information on ingredient composition. We developed and evalauated a manufacture-independent approach to quantify ingredient composition of 294 ready-to eat salads (distinguished into 73 subgroups) as test set. Nutritional quality was assessed by the nutriRECIPE-Index and compared to the Nutri-Score. The nutriRECIPE-Index comprises the calculation of energy-adjusted nutrient density of 16 desirable and three undesirable nutrients, which are weighted according to their degree of supply in the population. We show that the nutriRECIPE-Index has stronger discriminatory power compared to the Nutri-Score and discriminates as well or even better in 63 out of the 73 subgroups. This was evident in groups where seemingly similar products were compared, e.g., potato salads (Nutri-Score: C only, nutriRECIPE-Index: B, C and D). Moreover, the nutriRECIPE-Index is adjustable to any target population's specific needs and supply situation, such as seniors, and children. Hence, a more sophisticated distinction between single food products is possible using the nutriRECIPE-Index.

Keywords: Nutri-Score; front-of-pack nutrition labeling; nutriRECIPE-Index; nutrition labels; ready-to-eat salads.

Grants and funding

This work was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (funding number 01EA1411C) and by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) grant 33981/01.