Brazil – Food of plant origin. Report of the virtual workshops to identify the regulatory problem and the affected agents

The workshops were held in October 2021 to analyze the regulatory issue of these foods. This was Anvisa’s first action to obtain data and information in order to identify and analyze the regulatory problem, its causes and consequences, in addition to mapping the affected agents. Representatives of institutions, civil society and the productive sector participated in the meetings.

Although there is still no legal definition, plant-based products include processed foods that are formulated with ingredients of plant origin. They seek a similarity in appearance, texture, flavor and other attributes to traditional animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products.

It is important to note that Anvisa has followed and participated in discussions related to innovations in the food sector. Among the innovations are plant-based products, which have also prompted action by food regulatory authorities in other countries.

Argentina – Front-of-package warning label regulations incorporated into the Food Code

The Secretariat of Health Quality and the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries published Joint Resolution 7/2022, which incorporates in Article 225 and 226 in Chapter V STANDARDS FOR FOOD LABELLING AND ADVERTISING of the Argentine Food Code the rules on front-of-package warning label:

Article 225: Analcoholic foods and beverages packaged in the absence of the client or customer, which must carry nutritional information shall declare the content of total sugars and added sugars in the nutritional labeling. The declaration of total and added sugars shall be made on the nutrition labeling immediately after the declaration of carbohydrates.

Article 226: The declaration of the front nutritional labeling is mandatory in those foods and non-alcoholic beverages packaged in the absence of the client or customer to which sugars, sodium, fats or ingredients containing them have been added in their elaboration process, when in their final composition the amounts of added sugars, saturated fats, total fats, sodium and/or energy are equal or higher than the limits and conditions defined in the present article. Likewise, those foods containing sweeteners and/or caffeine must declare the cautionary legend in accordance with the provisions of this article.

Paraguay – INAN present at international food analysis assembly

Professionals from the National Institute of Food and Nutrition (INAN in Spanish) represented the country at the event, which had as objectives, among others, to evaluate compliance with the 2021 – 2022 action plans, share knowledge and regional and international experiences on risks and contaminants in food, as well as the election of new members of the executive committee of the Inter-American Network for Food Analysis.

Article – Evaluation of food supplement labels referred to the current Brazilian legislation

According to Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency, a food supplement is a product used orally and available in various pharmaceutical compounds to complement the diet of the healthy population. In this context, nutritional labeling is essential to inform and ensure consumers’ quality of consumption of these products. This work aimed to evaluate the compliance labels regarding the national food supplements marketed online against the Brazilian legislation in which the Resolution 243 entered into force on July 26, 2018. Data collection was carried out through surveys in online stores of national food supplements sold in Campo Grande – in the Mato Grosso do Sul state (MS) from August 2020 to January 2021. Three questionnaires were applied in a checklist to identify and analyze the food supplement labels, which were divided into 6 categories: carbohydrates; proteins; isolated amino acids; creatine; caffeine; and vitamins and minerals. A total of 130 labels were evaluated, being distributed in the categories, obtaining 16.2% of carbohydrates, 23.8% of proteins, 21.5% of isolated amino acids, 10.8% of creatine, 11.5% of caffeine and 16.2% of vitamins and minerals. It was found that 61.5% of food supplements did not have the designation “Food Supplement”, in addition to its pharmaceutical form. Most of the labels evaluated were inadequate in terms of designation and mandatory warnings required by current legislation, and further studies on the subject were recommended.

Article – From the most to the least flexible nutritional profile: Classification of foods marketed in Brazil according to the Brazilian and Mexican models

Nutrient profiling is the science of classifying or ranking foods according to their nutritional composition, for reasons related to disease prevention and health promotion. To be effective, policies such as front-of-pack nutrition labeling (FoPNL) must have an adequate nutritional profile model, since it will determine which products will be eligible to receive a FoPNL. This study aimed to determine the percentage of packaged food and drink products available in Brazil that would be subject to FoPNL under two different legislations: Brazilian and Mexican. This is a cross-sectional study in which we collected information on food products (photos of the ingredients list, the front label, the barcode, and the nutrition facts table) from one of the largest stores of a supermarket chain in the city of Belo Horizonte-MG, Brazil, from March to May 2021 (~6 months after the publication of the Brazilian legislation about FoPNL and a year and a half before the legislation came into force). The products were classified in relation to the BNPM (added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium) and the MNPM (energy, free sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, non-sugar sweeteners, and caffeine).