Technology/Food Safety: Challenges to Food Manufacturers Regarding Food Labeling Regulations

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The topic of processed foods is being now hotly debated at all levels, within the constraint of scientific logic but also at large extent with concepts that escape the current scientific knowledge of food processing technologies and incorrectly assigning health related outcomes to food processing.

In 2009 Carlos Monteiro with the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, questioned the public and personal health value of processed foods. By creating a NOVA system which proposes four categories of foods, it seeks to transmit that food processing is the primary driver of diet quality. Of these four categories, the category “ultra-processed foods” has been widely studied in relation both to diet quality and to risk factors for noncommunicable disease. The public health nutrition advice of NOVA is that ultra-processed foods should be avoided to achieve improvements in nutrient intakes with an emphasis on fat, sugar, and salt. This system has shed an unfair tarnish on the reputation of processed foods.

Studies will be discussed that demonstrate that actual data do not support that assumption and ideas will be shared to counteract this recommendation.

The presentation will bring together different perspectives on processed foods and focus on the impact of food processing from the food technology perspective.

Susana Socolovsky, PhD, CFS