FSANZ, The George Institute to develop new nutritional database

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is working with The George Institute for Global Health to develop a database that helps consumers understand the nutritional value of packaged foods they eat.

The George Institute is known for its diet-friendly FoodSwitch app, which helps consumers in around a dozen countries worldwide make healthier packaged food choices on the fly.

The new Branded Food Database will break down the nutritional value of packaged foods available across Australia and New Zealand. The database will work in tandem with FSANZ’s existing Health Star Rating system.

The new database was requested by the Australian Government’s Department of Health, FSANZ General Manager of Science and Risk Assessment, Christel Leemhuis, told ABC Rural recently.

“The database will provide evidence to support the Health Star Rating system,” Ms Leemhuis said. “It will allow us to track changes in the nutrient profile of foods over time, the database is targeted at providing a reliable source of information for modelling any future HSR changes.”

Consumers will be able to access the database digitally by entering barcode numbers to display the corresponding product’s information. Initially, no scanning app will be available but FSANZ expects to add user-friendly features over time.

The new database will be “a single source of truth…with credible product information that is accurate, comprehensive and updated regularly,” Ms Leemhuis told the ABC Rural.

FSANZ’s stated goal is to include 85 per cent of food products available in Australia to the new database by 2023.

Source: New food database to help consumers understand nutritional value of food they eat  I ABC Rural (Vic Country Hour)