With the focus on additives, which make up a minute part of a food product’s composition, it can be easy to miss the bigger public health picture.
Are clean label products actually improving our health by reducing sugar, salt and saturated fat?
Not according to MacCleery, who said industry has “missed an opportunity” to improve the nutritional profile of foods.
Some companies are guilty of ‘healthwashing’, she said, mentioning a popcorn snack that added a healthy wholegrain logo to its pack, despite also containing 180% of an individual’s recommended daily intake for sugar.
Nadia Berenstein, journalist and historian (pictured), agreed, saying that clean label products often replace sugar for agave syrup or salt for sea salt without altering the nutritional profile.