Food regulators have classed fruit juice as less healthy than diet cola beneath unusual guidelines confirming Australian health star ratings (HSR) on food packaging will focal point extra on sugar tell.
- After a assessment of Australia’s health star rating machine, fruit juice will have a lower rank than diet cola
- Agriculture sector says the selection is “madness” and will devastate fruit growers
- Dieticians say fruit juice is high in sugar nonetheless has extra nutrients than delicate drinks
Today’s choice by the Australian and Contemporary Zealand Ministerial Dialogue board on Food Regulation, made up of state and territory ministers, will minimize the 5-star rating for fruit juice to as low as two stars.
The Federal Authorities’s aim in developing the ratings — which rank food from half a star to 5 stars, depending on its nutrients — was to give customers an easy way to name better choices of packaged and processed meals.
Baseline points are allocated according to a food or drink’s vitality, saturated fat, sugar and sodium, and then “obvious” aspects such as dietary fibre and protein are taken into account to determine the product’s overall health rating.
The choice to lower the health star rating for fruit juice, based on its sugar tell, is a blow for fruit producers and left federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud infuriated.
But nutritionists argue fruit juices needs to be rated according to their high ranges of sugar and low ranges of fibre, or how a drink compares to a fraction of fruit.
Blow for agriculture sector
Mr Littleproud said giving 100 per cent fruit and vegetable juices a HSR as low as two stars was “madness”.
“States and territories who supported this, including Queensland, the Northern Territory, the ACT and Victoria, have let down our farmers,” he said.
“This will mean 100-per-cent-pure orange juice will have a health star rating lower than that of a diet delicate drink.
“How can anyone mediate that the health star rating for drinks with out a nutritional value needs to be greater than 100 per cent fruit and vegetable juices?”
Citrus Australia chief executive Nathan Hancock said tons of of thousands and thousands of dollars may be ripped from rural communities nationwide, with fruit juice contributing $736 million to the financial system.
“The governments of Australia want to know that it is miles never any longer OK to achieve juice behind diet delicate drink,” he said.
In July, Mr Littleproud pushed for 100-per-cent-unusual fruit and vegetable juice with out a added sugar to receive an automatic HSR obtain of 5 stars, which was knocked back.
He later proposed an automatic four HSR, a rating he said was supported by the Commonwealth and the farm industry.
The ABC has contacted members of the Australian and Contemporary Zealand Ministerial Dialogue board on Food Regulation for a response.
Leanne Elliston, a dietician with Nutrition Australia, said there was a itsy-bitsy variation to the various varieties of juices.
“Some of what we may call cold-pressed and contains a few of the pulp will contain less of the sugars than the juices that you can find in a lot of the poppers that parents achieve in lunchboxes,” she said.
Ms Elliston said, when considering a health star rating, it had to be in comparison to a complete fraction of fruit.
“In complete fruit, the sugars are intact within the structure of the fruit and how nature intends us to eat sugars — that’s what’s going to find us a 5-star rating,” she said.
“Fruit juice, where it is miles rather concentrated in these sugars, it doesn’t make sense, it is miles going to calm no longer have the same health star rating as complete fruit.”
But Ms Elliston agreed that fruit juice must calm receive a greater HSR than delicate drink.
“Juices that achieve at least contain the pulp have a dinky bit extra fibre, due to this fact have better nutritional value than a lot of the reconstituted juices, nonetheless we must calm really be drinking water, and fruit is simplest consumed as a complete fruit.”