Clean Label: what they are
Clean Label is a widespread term, however there is still no normative definition of the concept.
6 March 2019
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On a global level, the term is interpreted differently by consumers and over a third has not yet understood what it means. Most think it is an indication of products without artificial ingredients or chemicals, others associate it with other characteristics, for example products without allergens.
Often the products are applied to the Clean label only because some ingredients are removed or reduced from the list and are used claim type: without sugars, no dyes, no palm oil, no additives, no GMOs ... These are the most frequent terms on food packs.
Determining the meaning of a clean label is problematic because it is not regulated by any legislation. However, even clean labels must comply with EU regulations on labeling. Il Codice del Consumo and the food law prohibit food business operators from conveying advertisements that may mislead the average consumer about the characteristics of a food.
Even companies have difficulty understanding and translating the exact meaning of the clean label. Some European countries are experimenting with codes of good practice for the correct use of labeling. The Food Standards Agency has published a report aimed at food operators, in particular on the use of expressions such as: finest, quality, best, fresh, natural, pure, traditional, original, authentic, real, genuine, home made, farmhouse, handmade .
These expressions are allowed only in the case of processes of transformation of the product that do not change the essential characteristics of the food (including cooking, fermentation, pasteurization, sterilization, cutting and roasting) excluding, on the contrary , the use of chemical treatments that alter the original composition.
As you can see, clean labels or clean labels are likely to be unclear. If a clean label really is, the consumer will have precise information and will be aware of buying a food with few ingredients, of natural origin and free from chemicals. But very often clean labels are used to deceive the consumer and push him to buy a product passed off as "genuine" only on the package.
On the site of ingredionincorporated.com, a global leader in ingredient solutions, you can consult interesting guide guide on Clean Labels in Europe.