The “Nutriscore” paradox, or how oil labeling was spared from controversy

Though it is not a recent issue, we would like to share an anecdote that we lived with some concerns several months. It was the (favorable) resolution of a paradox. We would like to tell you from the beginning, to show you how important it is to have an active voice in political decisions process.

At the end of the year 2018 the Spanish Ministry of Health announced that it would be launching a new food labeling system, to make it easier for consumers to determine the quality of the products they were buying. Thus, instead of the usual “traffic light” system explaining the calories, fats, saturated fats, sugars and salt levels of a product, a color system graduated from A (“green”) to E (“Red”), would be introduced. “Green” would mean “healthiest product”, whereas “red” would mean “not recommended”.

The Open Food Facts, an NGO which studies the nutritional information of food products around the world, calculated how the new scale could be applied to the food that we can find in the Spanish market. Later, the platform recreated NutriScore labels on certain products. Using these criteria, they discovered some paradox situations, such as for example, that olive oil was receiving the “D” Category   while some soft drinks were classified as “B”.

A Spanish newspaper announced in a great headline that “Coca-cola zero is healthier than olive oil.” This article explained that this  situation, apart from being wrong, would create confusion to the consumers and would consider the olive oil as a unhealthy product.

After huge discussion, the Spanish Ministry of Health acknowledged that this situation was not logical and decided that olive oil would be exempt from carrying the new label, in order to not to cause more problems. For this reason, consumers should not expect to find it in the packaging of our products. At Ralda & Friends we guarantee that the olive oil we produce has an exceptional quality and offers many health benefits.