GCE Topic 2 Teacher s Notes

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1 s Notes OVERVIEW This topic corresponds with Unit A2 1: Consumer Issues of the CCEA GCE Home Economics specification. Aim The aim of this topic is to ensure students understand how to analyse and use information on food labels in relation to claims and other information. Learning Intentions At the end of this topic students should be able to: distinguish between health and nutrition claims understand marketing terms be aware of special dietary advice and food additives on food labels. Resources Classroom slides Activity sheets Additional s Notes heading Information on food labels click here for Classroom Slides click here for s 19 Notes click here for Activity Sheets SLIDE 1 nutrition and health claims This screen displays images of nutrition and health claims that are found on food labels. Ask the students to look at the images and discuss the two types of claims. Ask them to come up with more examples of both nutrition and health claims. Additional s Notes All permitted nutrition and health claims are contained in the EU register of nutrition and health claims, see The regulations ensure that any claim made on a food label is clear, accurate and substantiated so that consumers may make informed and meaningful choices when it comes to buying food and drink. SLIDE 2 Nutrition claims This screen explains the different types of nutrition claims found on food labels. Discuss the different types of nutrition claims found on food labels and ask the students to come up with some additional examples of nutrition claims. Additional s Notes Only the terms defined in the legislation may be included in calculating nutrition values These terms include: fibre, fat, saturates, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, protein, carbohydrate and sugars In addition, the nutrition claim must not be false, ambiguous, misleading, condone excessive consumption or imply that a balanced diet cannot provide the nutrients Nutrition claims cannot be put on alcoholic beverages although there are some exceptions relating to reduced energy and low alcohol content For more information on nutrition claims visit: nutrition and health claims A nutrition claim is any claim that states, suggests or implies that the food has a particular beneficial nutritional property, for example, low fat. A health claim is any claim that states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health, for example, with omega-3. Q. What are nutrition claims? Give examples Q. What are health claims? Give examples 1. A nutrition claim 2. A health claim 1 nutrition claims A nutrition claim is any claim that states, suggests or implies that the food has a particular beneficial nutritional property due to the following; The energy (calorific value) it provides it provides at a reduced or increased rate, or it does not provide The nutrients or other substances it contains, for example high fibre it contains in reduced or increased proportions, for example low fat, or it does not contain, for example trans fats. Low fat With no added sugars Low sodium/salt 2 Slide 1 Slide 2 1

2 Explain the difference between nutrition claims and health claims and provide examples of both. Please give three examples of each based on EU legislation. For information visit s Notes SLIDE 3 Health claims This screen explains what is a health claim and displays images of three examples. Discuss the information on the slide with students. Ask them to come up with some more examples of health claims on food labels. The chewing gum example shown is demonstrated below: health claims A health claim is any claim that states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health. Health claims must be based on generally accepted scientific data and be well understood by the average consumer. To ensure health claims are genuine the European Food Safety Authority put together a list of health claims that can be used by food manufacturers. The following health claims cannot be made. Claims on alcoholic beverages Claims that health could be affected by not consuming the food Claims that refer to the rate or amount of weight loss Claims that refer to recommendations of individual doctors or health professionals 3 heading activity 1 nutrition and health claims Slide 3 Nutrient, substance, food or food category Claim Conditions of use Chewing gum sweetened with 100% xylitol Chewing gum sweetened with 100% xylitol has been shown to reduce dental plaque. High content/level of dental plaque is a risk factor in the development of cavities in children Information to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained with a consumption of 2 3g of chewing gum sweetened with 100% xylitol at least 3 times per day after meals Activity 1 For more information visit Resource Activity 1 Ask students to complete this in class or as homework. Additional s Notes The European Commission Regulation 1924/2006 defines a health claim as any claim that states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health. To ensure all health claims are genuine, that is, are true and supported by scientific evidence, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) maintains a register of authorised health claims that can be used by food manufacturers. For more information vist: For new health claims, a file with the supporting evidence would need to be submitted to EFSA, by the company wishing to make the claim on a food or drink, and the approval procedure followed. 2

3 s Notes SLIDE 4 Superfoods This screen describes what the term superfoods means. It also displays images of three foods being marketed as superfoods. Discuss the information on the slide with students. Ask them for more examples of foods they have seen promoted as superfoods and if they have ever bought a product because it was labelled a superfood. Examples include: avocados, broccoli, beetroot, garlic, ginger, flax seed, acai, goji berries and mangosteen. Additional s Notes Superfoods is a term that has been used by some manufacturers/retailers to suggest a food can protect against certain diseases. Under EU legislation, use of the term superfoods is not allowed unless it is accompanied by an authorised health claim that explains to consumers why the product is good for their health. Blueberries have often been labelled a superfood (or superfruit) because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fibre. The term is not in common use amongst dietitians and nutritional scientists, many of whom dispute the claims made that consuming one particular foodstuff can have a health benefit. There is no legal definition of the term and it has been alleged that this has led to it being overused as a marketing tool. Individual fruit and vegetables are often promoted by manufacturers and retailers as superfoods. The evidence for the link between health and fruit and vegetables is for all fruit and vegetables rather than individual ones. For more information on superfoods visit: Superfoods Superfoods is a term that has been used by some manufacturers and retailers to suggest a food can protect against certain diseases. Under EU legislation, use of the term superfoods is not allowed unless it is accompanied by an authorised health claim that explains to consumers why the product is good for their health. Avocado Broccoli Blueberries 4 Slide 4 SLIDE 5 Functional foods This screen explains to students that information is often added to food labels voluntarily by food manufacturers or retailers. Discuss the information on the slides with students using the examples given. Additional s Notes There are a wide range of nutrients and other ingredients that might be used by food manufacturers to produce functional foods. Examples of these are vitamins, minerals including trace elements, amino acids, essential fatty acids, fibre, various plants and herbal extracts. In addition, the labelling, presentation and advertising of such foods must not: mislead or deceive the consumer as to the nutritional merit of the food mention or imply that a balanced and varied diet cannot provide appropriate quantities of nutrients. For more information on legislation associated with functional foods visit: Functional foods Functional foods is a loosely defined marketing term that is applied to foods containing added ingredients that have a supposed health benefit. Added calcium Added minerals 5 Slide 5 3

4 s Notes SLIDE 6 Marketing terms This screen explains what marketing terms are. It displays images of three different examples of marketing terms. To stimulate discussion read through the information on the slide and ask students to discuss the marketing terms on the slide. Additional s Notes Fresh The description fresh can be helpful to consumers where it identifies produce that is sold within a short time after production or harvesting. It can also be helpful to identify products that have not been processed. For example, fish, meat, poultry, fruit or vegetables. Pure The term pure is mostly used for single ingredient foods to which nothing has been added. For example, some fruit juices or water. Natural Natural means that the product contains only natural ingredients and should not have any other ingredients added, including artificial colours, additives or flavourings. For example, some butter, fruit juices or water. For more information on marketing terms visit: SLIDE 7 Special dietary advice vegetarians and vegans This screen explains what information is required on vegetarian and vegan product food labels. It also displays examples of images of vegetarian and vegan labels. Ask students what it means if a food is labelled suitable for vegetarians or suitable for vegans. Ensure students understand how to identify food products that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Additional s Notes Vegetarians and vegans Some consumers use food labels to choose food based on special dietary needs, for example vegetarians and vegans If a food is labelled vegetarian, this should mean that the food does not contain any meat, fish or poultry etc. or additives derived from animal sources such as gelatine If a food is labelled as vegan, this should mean that the food doesn t contain any animal products, including those from living animals such as milk Products carrying the Vegetarian Society Approved logo must fulfil certain requirements laid down by the Vegetarian Society The Suitable for Vegetarians logo is not regulated as there is no one logo used to depict this. It is however, known as a voluntary claim, which means it is illegal for the labelling information to include anything that is false or likely to mislead For more information and guidance on vegetarian and vegan labelling visit: marketing terms Certain terms are used by manufacturers, producers and retailers to market their products, but it is important that these terms do not mislead consumers. These are known as marketing terms. Examples of marketing terms Fresh Can be helpful to identify produce that is sold within a short time of production or harvesting Pure Mostly for foods containing single ingredients to which nothing has been added Natural Only contains natural ingredients with no other added ingredients 100% orange pure & natural Vegetarian logos 100% Natural Sugar Special dietary advice vegetarians & vegans If a food is labelled vegetarian, it means that the food doesn t contain any meat, fish, or poultry etc. or additives from animal sources such as gelatine. Products carrying the Vegetarian Society Approved logo must meet certain requirements laid down by the Vegetarian Society. If a food is labelled vegan, it means that the food does not contain any animal products, including those from living animals such as milk. VEGETARIAN 6 7 Vegan logo Q. Who uses marketing terms and why? Slide 6 Slide 7 4

5 Ingredients as served (greatest first): Noodles (Water, Wheat Flour, Palm Oil (contains Antioxidants (E320, E330, E310)), Salt), Onion, Salt, Glucose Syrup Solids, Flavour Enhancers (E621, E635), Garlic, Parsley, Yeast Extract (Barley), Flavouring, Maltodextrin, Turmeric, Malic Acid, Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed Oil), Chicken Fat, Acidity Regulators (E330, E262(ii), E339), E300 s Notes SLIDE 8 Food additives This screen explains: what food additives and E numbers are when they cannot be used in foods what the seven main groups are. An image of a ingredient list on a food product is also displayed showing an example of a natural food additive. The example is E300 is vitamin C. Discuss the information on the slide with students using the image shown. Ask the students to answer the question on the slide. Additional s Notes The seven main groups of food additives are: antioxidants colours flavour enhancers sweeteners emulsifiers stabilisers preservatives. Source of food additives Natural substances that are extracted from natural products, for example, sucrose Identical substances that are produced from chemicals but are very similar in nature to a naturally occurring substance, for example, saccharin Artificial or synthetic substances that are made from chemicals and make up the majority of additives that are used in modern day food processing controls, for example, Tartrazine (E102) is a water soluble synthetic dye Functions of food additives To preserve food To enhance the appeal a food has for consumers To replace nutrients lost during processing To enhance the natural colour of the food To enhance the sweetness of a food To adjust some physical property in the food For more information on food additives, visit Food additives Food additives are: any substance added to food at any stage in the production, processing, treatment, packaging, transportation or storage of that food often natural substances and in many cases are actually vitamins and minerals. Food additives cannot be used if they: disguise faulty processing deceive the consumer reduce the nutritional value of the food. There are seven main groups of food additives: antioxidants colours flavour enhancers sweeteners Q. Why are food emulsifiers additives used? stabilisers preservatives. E numbers are codes for food additives which are found on food labels throughout the EU. For example, E300 is vitamin C. 8 Artificial Substance Celery, Milk Powder and Wheat Flour. Natural Substance Slide 8 5

6 Ingredients: Chicken Meat, Soya Protein, Modified Corn Starch and Spices. Contain Permitted Flavour Enhancer (E450, E451, E452) and Preservative (E250, E252). FLAVOUR SACHET: Salt, Flavour enhancers (E621, E627, E631) Chicken fl avour, hydrolysed vegetable protein (soy, wheat), onion powder, sugar, yeast extract, maltodextrin, parsley, herbs, spices, colour (E160b). 1. Explain the controls in place to ensure the safe use of additives in food. 2. Please provide the full name of the following E numbers. E102 E221 E300 E951 E110 E200 For answers please see s Notes s Notes SLIDE 9 Labelling laws: controls on additives This screen shows the steps taken in controlling additives. It also deals with the various labelling laws associated with food additives and the controversy surrounding their use. Two sample images of E numbers present on food labels are also displayed. Discuss the information on the slide with students. Ensure that they understand why E numbers are used and what they mean. Open a discussion by asking them why they think E numbers would be controversial. Resource Activity 2 Ask students to complete these in class or as homework. Answers to question 3 on the activity sheet. E 102 Tartrazine E221 Sulphur sulphite E300 Ascorbic acid E951 Aspartame E110 Sunset Yellow E200 Sorbic Acid Labelling laws: controls on additives All food additives used in the EU undergo the following steps. Step 1: A safety evaluation Step 2: Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) (determining the level below which the intake of the substance can be considered safe) Step 3: A unique E number assigned Labelling laws The same code for E numbers is used throughout the EU. Additives are classed according to their function and assigned a code, which consists of the letter E followed by three numbers. European Union (EU) legislation requires most additives used in foods to be labelled clearly in the list of ingredients, either by name or by an E number. This allows the consumer to avoid foods containing specific additives. Some examples of E numbers are E101 Vitamin B1, E300 Vitamin C. The laws relating to food additives are set out in EC Regulation No. 1333/ heading activity 2 additives Slide 9 Activity 2 Additional s Notes Control on Additives All food additives used in the EU must undergo a rigorous safety evaluation before they are approved for use. This is carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) All available data on the biological effects of an additive is examined during its evaluation and this is used to develop an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) ADI is the amount of the additive that anyone can safely eat every day for the rest of their lives. This is the benchmark against which consumption of the additive is compared If the ADI is exceeded on occasion, this is unlikely to be a cause for concern. However, if it is discovered that consumers, through normal diet, are regularly consuming more than the ADI, the European Union Commission is informed and the levels in food at which the additive is permitted, as well as the range of foods to which it may be added, are reviewed Once an additive is approved for use in the European Union it is given an E number. All E numbers can be subject to periodic review by EFSA who review their safety and conditions of use in light of any new scientific data Controversy The Southampton Study carried out at the University of Southampton in 2007 indicated the possibility that the following additives investigated sodium benzoate (E211), and six colours tartrazine (E102), quinoline yellow (E104), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124) and allura red (E129) either individually or in combination, could aggravate hyperactivity in children EFSA reviewed the Southampton Study in 2008 but concluded that there was so much uncertainty surrounding the results that the ADIs for each of the mixture additives should remain unchanged However, the UK FSA had great concerns and issued a voluntary ban from April 2008 to encourage manufacturers to use alternatives for these colours In 2010 the European Union commission stated any food product made in the European Union containing any of the six colours investigated in the Southampton Study must carry the statement May have an adverse effect on activity in children on the label. 6

7 Approved Organic Standard 1. Explain three reasons why a consumer might choose organic foods. a. b. c. 2. Detail what additional information is required on the label of an organic food. s Notes SLIDE 10 Organic food This screen explains how organic food has a role in providing choice for consumers and why consumers choose organic food products. It displays an image of an organic food label. Ask students for their views and opinions on buying organic food. Resource Activity 3 Ask students to complete this in class or as homework. Additional s Notes Labelling of organic food Labels on food sold as organic must indicate the organic certification body that the processor or packer is registered with, for example, The Organic Trust Ltd The labels must include a code number that denotes the approved certification body. The name or trademark (logo) of the certification body may also be shown on the label but does not have to be It is not always possible to make products entirely from organic ingredients, since not all ingredients are available in organic form. Manufacturers of organic food are permitted to use specific non-organic ingredients provided that organic ingredients make up at least 95% of the food If the product contains between 70% and 95% organic ingredients, organic ingredients can be mentioned only in the ingredients list, and a clear statement must be given on the front of the label showing the total percentage of the ingredients that are organic Organic food Organic food plays a role in providing choice for consumers. There are many different reasons why consumers choose to buy organic food. These can include health reasons, concern for the environment and animal welfare. Eating organic food is one way to reduce consumption of pesticide residues and additives. Organic food can often be more expensive and less readily available. There is no conclusive evidence that organic food is nutritionally superior. CERTIFIED ORGANIC: IE-Org-02 Licence No 4205 IOFGA 10 heading activity 3 Organic food products Slide 10 Activity 3 7

8 GM foods pose a serious health risk to human health and are without benefit Do you agree or disagree with this view? Explain your reasons. s Notes SLIDE 11 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) This screen explains the various issues surrounding Genetically Modified (GM) foods. It also displays an image of an ingredients list on a food label showing how a GM ingredient is listed. Discuss the information on the slide with students asking for their opinions on GM foods. Resource Activity 4 Ask students to complete this in class or as homework. Additional s Notes Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms, such as plants and animals, whose genetic characteristics are being modified artificially in order to give them a new property. Food and feed which contain or consist of such GMOs, or are produced from GMOs, are called Genetically Modified (GM) food or feed. Discuss the information on the slide with students asking for their opinions on GM foods. Ask them to try to come up with more examples of possible GM foods. In the European Union, if a food contains or consists of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), or contains ingredients produced from GMOs, this must be indicated on the label. For GM products sold loose, information must be displayed immediately next to the food to indicate that it is GM On 18 April 2004, rules for GM labelling came into force in all European Union Member States The GM Food and Feed Regulation (European Union) No. 1829/2003* lays down rules to cover all GM food and animal feed, regardless of the presence of any GM material in the final product. For example bread containing ingredients derived from GM soya must indicate this product contains Genetically Modified Organisms or produced from Genetically Modified soya to enable the consumer to make an informed choice Any intentional use of GM ingredients at any level must be labelled. However, the Food and Feed Regulation provides for a threshold for the intended, or accidental, presence of GM material in non-gm food or feed sources. This threshold is set at 0.9% and only applies to GMOs that have an European Union authorisation Processing aids do not fall within the legislation, for instance foods which have been processed with the help of GM technology, for example bakery products using yeast or cheeses that have been produced with the help of an enzyme do not have to be labelled Products from animals fed on GM animal feed (for example milk, meat and eggs) are also exempt from labelling requirements GM free there is no legal basis for the use of the terms GM free or non GM although these terms can be lawfully used on a voluntary basis GM foods in Northern Ireland In general, most supermarkets and food manufacturers in the UK have removed GM ingredients from their produce. Some cooking oils, however, may be found to be labelled Genetically Modified. *enforced in Northern Ireland through the Genetically Modified Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 (SR. No. 385) and the Genetically Modified Feed Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 (SR. No. 386). genetically modified Organisms (gmos) Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms, such as plants and animals, whose genetic characteristics are being modified artificially in order to give them a new property. Food and feed which contain or consist of such GMOs, or are produced from GMOs, are called genetically modified (GM) food or feed. Issues with GM food Dressing Some consumers object to GM foods for a variety of reasons including: Ingredients: water, vegetable oils a fear of potential damage to the environment (contains genetically modified soya bean oil), sugar, vinegar, modified starch, wheat starch, ethical or moral concerns salt, mustard (water, mustard seed, vinegar, perceived food safety risks. salt, spices, herbs), egg yolk, thickener (E412), acids (E330), preservatives (E202) GM on label 11 Slide 11 heading activity 4 genetically modified Organisms (gmos) Activity 4 8

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