Composition and Labelling Information System as a tool for monitoring of the food supply

  • Title: CLAS: Composition and Labelling Information System
  • Coordinating institution: Nutrition institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Involvement in programs and projects:

  • P3-0395: Nutrition and public health
  • L3-8213: Nutrition of children and adults as a protective factor or health risk factor
  • L4-7552: Optimisation of barley and buckwheat processing for sustainable use in high quality functional foods.
  • L3-7538: The content of trans fats in foods and population intakes - public health implications
  • L4-7520: Utilization of common bean genetic resources for sustainable crop improvement and healthy food
  • V3-1501: Symbols on foods as a tool to help consumers make healthy food choices
  • V3-1637: Safe use of hemp in food including food supplements
  • V7-1107: Nutrition and health claims on foods

Project description:

For the purposes of the National Research Program "Nutrition and Public Health", the Nutrition Institute started establishing the CLAS (Composition and Labelling Information System) program in 2015, in which data on pre-packaged foods on the market in Slovenia are collected. It is an upgrade to the project for the collection of food labelling information from 2011, which was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF) [V7-1107: Nutrition and health claims on foods; 1.10.2011-30.9.2013]. The project involved collecting data on the nutritional value of foods and the use of symbols, nutrition and health claims. In this way, data on the availability of foodstuffs on the market in 2011 were collected and used for various research (eg Pravst et al. 2015, Korošec et al. 2014).

With the implementation of a new research on the availability of pre-packaged foods in Slovenia (data collection carried out in 2015), the Nutrition Institute has begun with the upgrade of the software. A database and the CLAS - Composition and Labelling Information System application were created, which enables the collection of photographs of food labelling, their evaluation using OCR technology and the processing of food composition and labelling data. After the test period of use, the new software tool was put into regular use in 2016 and was also used for the food data collection in 2017. The following data on prepacked foods is collected within CLAS:

  • photographs of food labelling;
  • data on the nutritional value of the foods;
  • data on ingredients, including data on the use of additives, vitamins and minerals;
  • data on allergens;
  • data on symbols, nutrition and health claims.

A selection of publications that have been created within the research project:

  • KAUR, Asha, SCARBOROUGH, P., HIEKE, Sophie, KUŠAR, Anita, PRAVST, Igor, RAATS, Monique, RAYNER, Mike. The nutritional quality of foods carrying health-related claims in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. European journal of clinical nutrition, 2016. URL: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejcn2016196a.html
  • MIKLAVEC, Krista, PRAVST, Igor, RAATS, Monique, POHAR, Jurij. Front of package symbols as a tool to promote healthier food choices in Slovenia : accompanying explanatory claim can considerably influence the consumer's preferences. Food research international, 2016, 90: 235-243, URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996916305245
  • KOROŠEC, Živa, PRAVST, Igor. Television food advertising to children in Slovenia : analyses using a large 12-month advertising dataset. International Journal of Public Health, 2016, URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00038-016-0896-7
  • ŽMITEK, Katja, PRAVST, Igor. Iodisation of salt in Slovenia : increased availability of non-iodised salt in the food supply. Nutrients, 2016, 7(8). URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/7/434/htm
  • DEBELJAK, Katarina, PRAVST, Igor, KOŠMELJ, Katarina, KAČ, Milica. ˝Healthier˝ and ˝less heathy˝ classifications according to three nutrient profiling systems relative to nutrition and health claims on food labels. Acta alimentaria : an International Journal of Food Science, 2015, 44 (4), 561-569, URL: http://akademiai.com/doi/abs/10.1556/066.2015.44.0028
  • ERŽEN, Naja, RAYNER, Mike, PRAVST, Igor. A comparative evaluation of the use of a food composition database and nutrition declarations for nutrient profiling. Journal of food and nutrition research, 2015, 54 (2) 93-100. URL: http://www.vup.sk/download.php?bulID=1649
  • PRAVST, Igor, KUŠAR, Anita. Consumers' exposure to nutrition and health claims on pre-packed foods : use of sales weighting for assessing the food supply in Slovenia. Nutrients, 2015, 7(11). URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/11/5474
  • KOROŠEC, Živa, PRAVST, Igor. Assessing the average sodium content of prepacked foods with nutrition declarations : the importance of sales data. Nutrients, 2014, 9(6), 3501-3515. URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/9/3501

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Nutrition institute is engaged in research and education in the field of nutrition and advising the food industry in the formulation and labeling of foods. In the scope of the institute, research group Healthy Nutrition is established, which performs research on food and nutrition.