The Changing Face Of Nutrition Labelling
Food information is the analysis of nutritive value of food based on scientific methods of assessing nutrient composition based on a variety of common and complex foods. Nutrient content is an important determinant in the nutritional quality of food, particularly of meat, poultry, fish and eggs because of their greater protein and fat content. The NIDR (National Nutrient Data Register) is the main database for the food information system. Data are regularly collected by various organizations for the purposes of food analysis, quality control, improved nutrition and agriculture.
Food information systems have changed greatly over the years with the development of new technologies. Data collection has become a serious chore for both users and processors in many cases resulting in inaccurate and incomplete food information. The major cause of this problem has been the shift from manual recording to computerized systems that can record and process data more accurately and efficiently. Computer databases not only provide a great degree of organizational flexibility, but also permit users to obtain relevant data much faster and at lower costs than was previously possible. In addition, it is now possible to obtain online data and dietary information from a variety of sources which makes the job of food manufacturers and consumers easier.
Modern technology in food information systems has made it possible to obtain complete and accurate data on nutrient profiles of popular foods at a fraction of the cost of previous methods. For example, a front-of-pack nutrition labelling system can now provide complete data on the nutrient content of popular foods from a variety of manufacturers at a fraction of the cost of traditional laboratoryelling systems. In this decade, we will see the emergence of healthy eating Labels, where manufacturers will be held accountable for the content of nutrient profiles in their food products. It is anticipated that in the next ten years front-of-pack nutrition labelling will provide consumers with the comprehensive and accurate information necessary for healthy eating initiatives.