Going for green: improving the Nutri-Score for plant-based products

In today’s complex world, it’s no surprise that consumers are craving simplicity when it comes to their food. They want straightforward ingredients and an easy-to-understand label that doesn’t require a dictionary. Alongside this need for transparency is a desire to make healthier choices. This means that getting a quick answer to the question, ‘Is this good for me?’, is more important than ever.

Focused on health, consumers demand simple nutritional information

The impact of COVID-19 is a key contributor to this heightened awareness of health and wellbeing; in a recent study, nearly two-thirds of consumers say they’ve become more health conscious because of the pandemic. Further to this, 63% said they want to reduce intake of ‘bad’ ingredients while 50% want to increase intake of ‘good’ ingredients. And 39% want to avoid ingredients that are harmful to the environment, which points toward the exploding plant-based meat and fish alternatives market.

These responses make it clear that simple nutritional information will resonate with consumers and help them to make healthier choices. To encourage this, a variety of food labeling options have been adopted by manufacturers. In Europe, the Nutri-Score was initially proposed and implemented in France and has since been adopted in several countries. This front-of-pack label uses a ‘traffic light’ system (with dark green and the letter ‘A’ for the highest scores and dark orange and the letter ‘E’ for the lowest) designed to provide consumers with quick insight into a product’s nutritional value.

Making sure your plant-based products measure up

For producers of plant-based meat and fish alternatives, the Nutri-Score label presents a key opportunity to capture consumer attention with healthful products. Even with an initial ‘E’ score, there’s plenty of room to improve and ‘go for green’ with the right tools. Following our 3-step approach, DSM can partner with customers to develop high-scoring, delicious products. 

Step 1: Calculate your product’s Nutri-Score.

Each calculation considers the nutrients that should be limited (energy, saturated fat, sugars and salt) as well as those that should be encouraged (fibers, proteins, fruits, vegetables, pulses and some oils). Negative points minus the positive points determine the Nutri-Score. Once a product’s score has been calculated, our team of application experts works with manufacturers to pinpoint areas for improvement.  

Step 2: Choose your preferred DSM solutions.

Let’s customize and redesign your recipe to achieve a better score, tapping into our portfolio of solutions. For example, yeast extracts and process flavors can improve taste and aroma, while gellan gums can help maintain an appealing texture without too much fat.

Step 3: Create a product with an improved nutritional profile.

Our team has deep experience developing innovative concepts with an eye toward balance, nutrition and of course – mouthwatering taste.  Need inspiration? Our DSM vegan burger recipe checks all the right boxes – taste, aroma, texture – while also delivering an improved nutritional profile with an ‘A’ Nutri-Score. 

Recipes, reimagined

As consumers crave sound nutritional value from their food, it’s important to offer straightforward information that enables informed choices. The Nutri-Score is a simple and understandable way to highlight the nutritional profile of plant-based meat and fish alternatives. With the right solutions, producers can optimize their recipes for top scores. 

Our experts are always ready to help you

Published on
15 March 2022

Download our recipe card to build a vegan burger with Nutri-Score A

Want to improve the Nutri-Score of your plant-based products? DSM's solutions can improve taste, texture and nutritional value of your products.

See our recipe for inspiration

View Demo of our Fortifull™ Nutrition Guide Tool