Consumers see ingredients lists that are shorter and easily understandable as ‘cleaner’. This is often perceived as healthier and the clean label drive goes hand-in-hand with NOVA’s classification system of ultra-processed foods.
The trend is prompting manufacturers to target ingredients lists with five-or-fewer ‘store cupboard’ components. However, there is a risk that the clean label movement could see the removal of ingredients that fortify, stabilise or preserve foods. This raises concerns over health, food safety and shelf-life. At the same time, a short ingredients list does not necessarily mean a product is healthy or nutritious.
When a healthy diet is about making the right food choices – regardless of the level of processing – should we be looking beyond the label? And, as consumers and the industry continue to embrace cleaner labels, what label friendly solutions are being developed to deliver health and functionality benefits?
FoodNavigator is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the clean label trend, whether it has any undesirable outcomes and how the industry should respond.