Qualitative food scoring system – Nutri-score

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Qualitative food scoring system – Nutri-score

Nutri-score is a quality rating system for food products, available on the front of food labels. Its purpose is to help consumers understand the nutritional value of a product and make an informed choice.

Food labels provide a lot of valuable information for the consumer, such as the nutritional value or the list of ingredients of a product. For more on why and how to read labels, see How to read labels and evaluate products. For a few years now, in addition to the above-mentioned product information, on an increasing number of labels we can also find an icon with the product’s quality rating. Find out what it is, how to understand it and whether you even need it. 

What is the Nutri-score system?

According to information published on the website of the National Public Health Agency – the organisation that created the Nutri-score system – it is a quality rating system for a product to help consumers understand the nutritional value of a product and make an informed choice.

Nutri-score appears on the front of food packaging and is a graphic consisting of 5 letters (A to E) and their corresponding colours (dark green to dark orange). 

Is the Nutri-score system backed by scientific research?

The algorithm used to calculate the nutritional score was developed at the University of Oxford, so it has a scientific foundation. The algorithm takes into account scores for positive nutrients (i.e. fruit, vegetable and nut content, protein and fibre content) and negative nutrients (i.e. saturated fatty acids, sugars and salt). The system has been subjected to a number of studies to assess its usefulness and understanding by consumers from different socio-economic groups.

Disadvantages of the Nutri-score system

Although the Nutri-score system is based on scientific knowledge and more European countries are introducing it to their market, it is not welcomed by all. On 1 August 2022 in Italy, the Competition Authority subjected food labelling according to the Nutri-score system to a negative evaluation. The main argument was that there was no reliable scientific data to prove the rating of a product, which could mislead consumers. Furthermore, the authority also pointed out that, given the variety of diets used by consumers, such labelling could be misleading and have a negative impact on their health. Another argument was the lack of sufficient knowledge among consumers regarding the basis of Nutri-score assessment.

Other quality product assessment systems

In addition to the Nutri-score system, we can also encounter other systems, e.g. NOVA or YUKA. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages and pays attention to different aspects. 

  • Nutri-score (Open Food Facts) 

Takes into account the nutritional value of the product, but it does not take into account the presence of food additives (sweeteners, colourings, preservatives, etc.), the degree of processing and the portion size in the composition of the products.

  • NOVA

Takes into account the composition of the product including the degree of processing of the ingredients that make up the product, but does not take into account the differences between home and industrial food processing. Does not take into account the nutritional value of the product.

  • YUKA

Largely based on the Nutri-score, however, the overall assessment also takes into account whether a product is organic (whether it carries the Euro-list label, attributed to products recognised as organic on the basis of the organic farming criteria established by the European Union).

Fitatu score

Although there are already several different systems available on the market for assessing the quality of food products, there is still no system that can comprehensively approach the subject of their assessment. In order to further help consumers to make wise and informed food choices, we decided to create our own product scoring system at Fitatu, which is already available in the app.

The Fitatu score is a product quality scoring system based on the Nutri-score system, but also takes into account issues such as the safety of the ingredients used to make the products and the content of harmful E-substances (some E-substances are not harmful, e.g. ascorbic acid, but some of them in larger quantities can be hazardous to health, while only in small amounts are allowed for consumption). Products are rated on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is the weakest rating and 5 is the best.

You can find the product rating according to the Fitatu Score on the product card in the app. The database of products containing the score is growing all the time, and it is you, and other users, who can help increase the database of these recipes by adding the composition of a given product in the app, which we warmly encourage you to do!

Fitatu App

Download the application from the Play Store or Apple Store and start counting your macros with us!
Do you prefer the web version? No problem. A basic web version is prepared for our subscribers. And now you can use the NUTRIE discount code by going to https://www.fitatu.com/app/giftcode and get 29% off your monthly Fitatu Premium.

What else can you find in Fitatu Premium?

  • over 1000 recipes plus several new ones every month
  • additional plans for intermittent fasting
  • the ability to create shopping lists
  • a choice of six ready-made menus full of meals to choose
  • filtering products and recipes
  • more synchronization with fit apps
  • access to the application in the web version
  • no ads!





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