NUTRIENT PROFILE MODEL

USEFUL INFORMATION

Background information on Nutrient Profiling

Development of the Nutrient Profile Model

Testing and validation of the Nutrient Profile Model

Basics of the Nutrient Profile Model

Nutritional information needed to use the Nutrient Profile Model – per 100g food

Examples of food products in different categories for the NPM

Definitions and clarifications

Background information on Nutrient Profiling

Nutrient profiling of foods is defined as 'the science of ranking foods based on their nutrient composition'. Nutrient profiles aim to benefit both the consumer and food manufacturers by ensuring that claims do not mask the overall nutrient content of food products and by encouraging food manufacturers to improve the nutritional quality of their products. The ultimate goal is that a nutrient profile system will help consumers to make healthier food choices.

Development of the Nutrient Profile Model

The model is based on work done by Mike Rayner and colleagues of the UK as adapted by the UK Food Standards Agency with modifications by the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

Testing and validation of the Nutrient Profile Model

The FSANZ model was tested and validated using 5 different methodologies to assess if it is applicable to the South African situation. Based on the evidence of the validations done, we recommend the use of the latest nutrient profile model of FSANZ to be used in South Africa as a screening tool to assess if a food product is eligible to carry a nutrient and/or health claim or not.

Basics of the Nutrient Profile Model

1. The model is based on the nutritional value per 100g food; 
2. Three categories are used, namely
  a. Category 1: Beverages (excluding milk);
  b. Category 2: Any food other than those included in Category 1 or 3;
  c. Category 3: Cheese and processed cheese with a calcium content >320mg/100g, edible oil, edible oil spreads, margarine and butter;
3. The nutrient profiling score must be less than
  a. For Category 1: 1
  b. For Category 2: 4
  c. For Category 3: 28 for a food item to be eligible;
4. Baseline points are calculated based on the cut-points provided for the following nutrients: energy, saturated fat, total sugar, sodium;
5. Modifying points are calculated taking into consideration certain conditions, for example the fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content of the food item, fibre and protein content;
6. Certain condition are also build into the model, for example ‘If a food or drink scores 11 or more points for the baseline points, then it cannot score points for protein, unless it also scores the maximum number of points for fruit, vegetables and nuts’;
7. Final score = Baseline points – modifying points.

Nutritional information needed to use the Nutrient Profile Model – per 100g food

Examples of food products in different categories for the NPM

Category Scoring criteria Food product included Examples
Category 1 Final score < 1 total points:
Meets scoring criteria to be eligible carry a nutrient and or health claim.
Beverages (including milk) Full cream milk
Low fat milk
Evaporated milk
Malt beverage prepared with milk
Fruit juice
Category 2 Final score < 4 total points:
Meets scoring criteria to be eligible carry a nutrient and or health claim.
Foods other than those included in category 1 or 3; and All fruits
All vegetables
Meat and meat products
Fish and fish products
Chicken and chicken products
Grains and cereals
Cottage type cheese
Category 3 Final score < 28 total points:
Meets scoring criteria to be eligible carry a nutrient and or health claim.
Cheese and processed cheese with calcium content > 320mg/100g*
Edible oil
Edible oil spreads
Margarine
Butter
Cheddar cheese
Brick margarine
Tub margarine
Butter
Peanut butter

Definitions and clarifications

Total sugar (as per R146, p 14): means the sum of all intrinsic and added sugars.
Dietary fibre (as per R146): means edible carbohydrate polymers with ten or more monomeric units, which are not hydrolysed by the endogenous enzymes in the small intestine of humans and which occur naturally, or which have been obtained by physical, enzymatic, or chemical means, in fruits, vegetables and cereals consumed ordinarily as food and measured as non-starch polysaccharides (NPS), but exclude novel fibres.
Fruit and vegetable points (V points)
V points can be scored for fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes including coconut, spices, herbs, fungi, seeds and algae (fvnl) including V points cannot be scored for