EFSA Scientific Opinion on nutrient profiling, includes nuts and seeds
28 APRIL 2022
On 19 April, EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) published its scientific advice on nutrient profiling for harmonised mandatory front‐of‐pack nutrition labelling and on the setting of nutrient profiles. A public consultation was launched on 15 November (see previous FRUCOM communication).
The main conclusions of the Panel are the following:
- Certain nutrient intakes are above current dietary recommendations (saturated fatty acids, sodium and added/free sugars), others are below (dietary fibre and potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin D, folate and iodine) for the majority or in specific subgroups of EU population. Inadequate intakes of dietary fibre and potassium are associated with adverse health effects, and they could be included in nutrient-profiling models.
- Intakes of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) may be below the AI (adequate intake) in European countries with low fish consumption while average protein intakes in Europe are above the PRI (population reference intake) in most population groups and countries.
- Nuts and seeds are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids (including essential fatty acids), protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals (e.g. calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc) and the intake of moderate amounts of nuts (30–60 g/day) has been shown to beneficially affect cardiometabolic risk factors. Most food based dietary guidelines recommend consuming unsalted and unsweetened nuts and seeds in variable amounts and frequency.
- Energy could be included in nutrient-profiling models because a decrease in energy intake is of public health importance for European populations.