Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Criteria for using the symbol as an additional labelling of foods with better nutritional composition

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   

Code Science Field
B420  Biomedical sciences  Nutrition 

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
symbols on foods, labelling, nutrient profile model, food reformulation, nutrition, public health
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  27975  PhD Urška Blaznik  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2021  203 
2.  24228  PhD Matej Gregorič  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2021  226 
3.  39476  Maša Hribar  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2021  61 
4.  51995  PhD Hristo Hristov  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2021  55 
5.  54315  Sanja Krušič  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2020 - 2021 
6.  22463  PhD Anita Kušar  Plant production  Researcher  2019 - 2021  108 
7.  39242  PhD Nina Mikec  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2020  20 
8.  50408  PhD Urška Pivk Kupirovič  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2019  25 
9.  24300  PhD Igor Pravst  Public health (occupational safety)  Head  2019 - 2021  317 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  3018  NUTRITION INSTITUTE  Ljubljana  3609081000  492 
2.  3333  National Institut of Public Health  Ljubljana  6462642  18,396 
In Slovenia and many other developed countries, chronic non-communicable diseases represent the most common cause of mortality. Many are closely related to nutrition, which can act either as a risk factor, or as a protective factor that promotes health and improves the quality of life. In relation to this, the consumer’s perception and recognition of healthier foods is very significant. It is the consumer’s right to have credible information provided in order to determine whether certain food is good for her/him, what the food is composed of and whether the food is healthy.  People as consumers chose foods daily and the selection process involves complex decision-making processes. The competition among food producers is high, which has led to an increase in the number of foods within each category, both nutritionally more or less adequate. Food labeling should enable the consumer to make the choice of foods as quick and easy as possible, and may also help distinguish such foods, thereby affecting his choice and, consequently, the nutritional status. Making healthy food choices easier and the possibility of enforcing the national scheme for easier recognition and choice of healthy foods is presented as part of the Resolution on the national programme on nutrition and physical activity for health 2015–2025. These project proposal addresses an important challenge that needs to be resolved for successfully established additional voluntary food labeling at the national level, namely the establishment of criteria for such a scheme. The symbols labeled foods are more attractive to consumers, and they are also an important element of the labeling, which helps them decide on the food purchase. Outside of Slovenia, a number of such symbols are used, which are most commonly appearing on the front of the food packaging. The criteria for the allocation of such symbols must be consistent with the dietary guidelines, considering the public health aspects, and at the same time must also address the expectations of consumers and the food producers. Within the project, we will address the following objectives: (1) the definition of key parameters to be considered when establishing the national scheme criteria; (2) the setting of criteria for the attribution of the symbol for the additional labeling of foods beneficial to health, and (3) the verification of the adequacy of the proposed criteria on a representative sample of foods. Extra attention will be given to the establishment of criteria for the symbol for the incentive effect of the criteria for nutrient reformulation, which are important in terms of public health. The results of the project will make an important contribution to the design and management of nutrition policy, mostly to the regulation in the area of effective labeling in order to better understand nutrition information on foods and to encourage food producers to reformulate foods. The results will also be important for food manufacturers in order to properly plan the development of health-beneficial foods that will be promoted effectively with the help of a developed software tool, and, of course, for consumers, as it will enable them to make healthy choice an easy choice.  The project is divided into three work packages (WP): In the first (WP1) we will define key model parameters and stakeholder alignment. First of all, taking into account stakeholder expectations, we will define key food quality parameters for the establishment of a national food labeling scheme (T1.1), followed by coordination with identified stakeholders (T1.2). In the second set (WP2) we will prepare criteria for assigning a symbol for additional labeling of foods with a more favorable nutritional composition. This assignment will include two tasks: Tasks T2.1 (Preparation of the baseline proposal for criteria for allocating the symbol for additional food labeling with a more favorable food composition) and T2.2 (Modulation of the effects of th
Significance for science
The project will develop criteria for using the symbol as an additional labelling of foods with better nutritional composition, considering publi-healh need and needs of various stakeholders. Resulting criteria will be prepared in a form for easy inclusion into national legislation – providing a basis for volunarily national food labelling scheme. Results will aslo improve progress in research in the areas of public health and nutrition. The project we partiularly contribute to the research in the area of nutrient profiling. Using innovative approaches we will develop new proling models, which will be tested using large datasets, originating from real-life environments. Project activities will support the development of new tools for food labelling, which will support consumers in making healthy food choices. This is also in line with the National programme on nutrition and physical activity for health 2015–2025.
Significance for the country
In addition to the importance for policymakers, the project will have a direct impact on the national economy, particularly the food industry. The project results will help the food industry reformulate foods and develop new foods with a favourable nutritional composition. This will improve their competitiveness both nationally and internationally. Because national food producers are more flexible in changing food labels than multinational producers operating across multiple markets, they could be more successful concerning use of the national health symbol on foods marketed in Slovenia, and this could provide an important advantage for Slovenian food producers.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2019, 2020
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2019, 2020
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