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Overview of the Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criteron

(November 2016)

What is nutrient profiling?

Nutrient profiling is used internationally to classify foods based on their nutrient content and can help to identify healthier foods.

What is the NPSC?

The NPSC is a nutrient profiling system used in Australia and New Zealand to determine whether a food is suitable to make a health claim, based on its nutrient profile. Only foods that meet a certain score will be allowed to have health claims made about them. Health claims are claims which refer to a relationship between a food and a health effect, such as ‘calcium for healthy bones and teeth'.  

How does the NPSC work?

The NPSC is applied to individual foods. A score is determined based on the amount of energy, saturated fat, total sugars and sodium in the food, along with the amount of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, coconut, spices, herbs, fungi, algae and seeds and in some cases, dietary fibre and protein. The final score determines whether a food is eligible to make a health claim, based on its nutrient profile.
 
The calculation methods for determining the final score and the scoring criterion are contained in Schedules 4 and 5 of the Food Standards Code. FSANZ has also developed an online calculator to help food businesses work out the final score.
Other conditions in the health claims Standard (Standard 1.2.7 - Nutrition, health and related claims) must also be met before a health claim can be made. For instance, health claims must be based on food-health relationships that have been substantiated according to the Standard.

Why was the NPSC developed?

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) asked FSANZ to regulate nutrition and health claims in Australia and New Zealand and provided a policy guideline in 2003.
 
Since then FSANZ developed a Standard (Standard 1.2.7) to regulate nutrition and health claims and the NPSC was developed as part of this work.

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