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The French OQALI survey on dairy products: comparison of nutrient contents and other nutrition information on labels among types of brands

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Menard C., Dumas C., Gillot N., Laurent L., Labarbe B., Ireland J. & Volatier J.‐L. (2012) The French OQALI survey on dairy products: comparison of nutrient contents and other nutrition information on labels among types of brands. J Hum Nutr Diet. 25, 323–333

Background:  Depending on their spending power, consumers may choose foodstuffs from more or less expensive types of brands (national, retailer, economy‐line retailer or discount brands). The present study, on dairy products, assesses the nutritional composition and the frequencies of labelled nutrition parameters, according to types of brands.

Methods:  The 1646 most consumed dairy products were collected. Nutrient contents and other labelled nutrition parameters provided on the packaging (i.e. nutrition and health claims, nutrition guidelines such as guideline daily amounts, consumption advice and information on added vitamins and minerals) were captured in the French branded product composition database (OQALI).

Results:  Significant differences between brands were found for energy, protein, fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, dietary fibre, calcium and sodium, in four of six dairy groups studied, but not systematically. National brands and retailer brands provided more detailed nutrition labelling and more frequent nutrition claims than cheaper brands. More retailer brand products provided nutrition guidelines and consumption advice than the other branded products. National brand products more frequently contained added vitamins and minerals and more frequently bore health claims.

Conclusions:  Nutrient contents of the cheaper brands of dairy products did not vary systematically from more expensive ones. However, national brands and retailer brands products provided more nutrition information on labels than the cheaper ones. There should be more detailed studies comparing different types of brands regarding labelling practices for nutrient contents and other nutrition information about foodstuffs to help prepare public health recommendations, adapted to all consumers, regardless of their income.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses/PASER/CIQUAL), Maisons-Alfort, France 2: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy 3: Danish Food Information (DFI), Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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