The Nutrinform battery is underway, the smart way to correct nutrition

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The campaign is underway to introduce Italians to the Nutrinform battery, a nutritional labeling system that highlights the nutritional impact of the foods consumed by suggesting the appropriate portions and combining the different foods in the correct way. The project starts with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between three ministries (Health, Food and Forestry Sovereignty, Business and Made in Italy) with Federdistribuzione and the Ancc-Coop and Ancd Conad systems. The battery-powered system involves the use of the smartphone to read the barcode on food and drink packages with the Nutrinform app. This way you know the energy, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt content per portion and the app remembers the nutritional intake of how much is consumed throughout the day which is highlighted by the battery. The project involved four ministries (Health, Business and Made in Italy, Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), supported by nutritional experts from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and the Council for Economic and Food Research (CREA), as well as representatives of the trade associations of the agri-food chain and consumers. «By simply reading the barcode of the products with your smartphone, it will be possible to know the nutritional contents of different foods and contribute to nutritional education, especially for the new generations» says Orazio Schillaci, Minister of Health. Thus, from 15 February, the use of the app dedicated to Nutrinfom Battery will be promoted in thousands of points of sale of large-scale retail trade companies belonging to the three associations, with communication initiatives aimed at the millions of Italians who go shopping every day.

«It is essential to start with our own nutritional labeling system if we want to defend the national agri-food system and our Made in Italy excellences, which would risk being heavily penalized by traffic light systems» remarks Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister of Food Sovereignty and Forests while Adolfo Urso (Mimit) recalls that «we are facing a crucial challenge that requires the collective commitment of the entire agri-food system and businesses, both at a national and European level. It is essential to guarantee the right to information for consumers, combating unfair competition practices.”

The two systems

Nutrinform represents a valid alternative to the French Nutriscore which identifies the nutritional elements of the product with five-color traffic lights but does not consider the quantities, daily portions and other useful information on the recommended portions and real nutritional intake of foods. Nutriscore simply assigns a score that takes into account seven different parameters of nutritional information per 100g of food and 100ml of drinks. This model ends up rewarding many industrial foods and instead penalizes specialties such as parmesan or other natural foods such as regional and organic products. In the coming months the European Commission will have to decide on the nutritional labeling system to be adopted and Nutrinform represents the Italian answer to the French Nutri score.

«We are faced with a question of safeguarding our food excellence and respecting correct information in people’s purchasing choices – we read in a note released by Federdistribuzione, Ancc-Coop and Ancd Conad -. Our commitment will be to promote in the coming months the use of an innovative and digitalized tool, which works on product coding standards already in use and which will be able to accompany all of us in conscious consumption of food” conclude the associations representation of large-scale distribution”.

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