Nutritional benefits of fresh juice considered as part of Health Star Rating review
1 December 2020
The news that the nutritional aspect of fresh fruit and vegetable juices (no added sugar) will now be considered as part of a review into the Health Star Rating system has been welcomed by Peak Industry Body Citrus Australia.
The Forum on Food Regulation members (Federal and State Ministers) made the decision at the Forum meeting on Friday, after a proposal by Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud that fresh juice should automatically receive 4 stars in recognition of its nutritional value was rejected by most Ministers.
The Federal Department of Health will provide advice on adjusting the Health Star Rating calculator for 100 per cent fruit and vegetable juices (no added sugar) for discussion at the next Forum meeting in February 2021.
Additionally, the Forum delayed a decision on the current proposed changes to the HSR, which would see fruit juice fall to as low as 2 Stars, until February, when it will review and discuss alternate HSR calculator algorithms provided by the Department of Health.
These alternate algorithms would place greater emphasis on juice’s nutritional value, whereas the current proposal judges juice primarily on its sugar content.
Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock said the decision was respectful of a fresh, healthy product and the Australian growers that produce it.
“We are pleased that the Forum has heard us and that the nutritional benefits a glass of fresh Aussie juice provides have been acknowledged,” Mr Hancock said.
“Although orange juice does contain natural sugars, it also contains Vitamin C, folate and thiamine, and is recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines as an occasional substitute for a serve of fresh fruit.
“With 94% of all Australians not eating the recommended serving of fruit each day, an occasional small glass of juice has the ability to reverse this trend.
“We thank the members of the Forum for recognising this as they continue their review.”
For further information, contact Stephen Cooke, Industry Engagement Manager, Citrus Australia, on 0427 124 437 or firstname.lastname@example.org