JAPAN – Tokyo-based seasonings major, Ajinomoto has announced that it will be rolling out its nutrition improvement activities globally following the introduction on April 1, 2020 of the Ajinomoto Group Nutrient Profiling System for Products (ANPS-P).
The ANPS-P is a system which the company developed as a method of scientifically assessing the nutritional value of products such as powdered soups and frozen foods.
Ajinomoto said that the Nutrient Profiling System will cover approximately 500 products at nine Ajinomoto Group companies in seven countries including Japan, Thailand, Asia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Brazil.
The company noted that the world is facing two paradoxical nutritional issues: over 2 billion people are presumed to be at risk for lifestyle-related diseases as a result of being obese or overweight due to excessive nutrient intake, while on the other hand their diets tend to be insufficient in protein, vegetables, dietary fiber and other nutrients.
However, the multinational acknowledged that it is difficult for consumers to eat a balanced diet every day based on a knowledge of essential nutrients adding that there is growing public interest in the efforts of governments and companies to improve nutrition.
Against this background, global food companies have been developing and introducing nutrient profiling systems (NPSs) as methods for assessing the amounts of nutrients in a food on a scientific basis in order to express its nutritional quality in an easy-to-understand manner.
An NPS uses a specific algorithm to evaluate the nutritional quality of food as a score (numerical value) to enable comparison of the nutritional value of multiple products in the same category, or of a single product before and after a reformulation, using a common axis for assessment.
Ajinomoto’s NPS, which was developed by the company, is based on the scoring method of the Health Star Rating System, an NPS used mainly in Australia and New Zealand.
“This system assesses the nutritional value of products based on the quantity of each nutrient that should not be consumed in excess (calories, added sugars, sodium and saturated fats) and the quantity of each nutrient and food group that tend to be underrepresented in diets and for which intake is recommended (proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and dietary fiber),” the company illustrated.
According to Ajinomoto, the introduction of ANPS-P enables a better understanding of nutritional issues by using a common standard to assess the nutritional value of the the company’s products.
Based on this understanding, the Group said that it will continue to revise its products and provide products with high nutritional value that make it easy to reduce salt and consume protein, among other benefits, thereby helping to improve consumer health.
Going forward, the Ajinomoto Group also plans to develop and introduce an NPS for meals that use the Ajinomoto Group products with the aim of providing total support for a nutritionally balanced diet.