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New publication: Codex nutrient reference values

27/11/2019

This session of CCNFSDU will look at nutrient reference values (NRVs) for older infants and young children. NRVs do not appear on food labels but they are used in nutrition labelling to show the contribution to healthy nutrient intake of the nutrients in a portion of food. This work follows on work at CCNFSDU which led over several years to the development of Codex NRVs for the essential nutrients: protein, vitamins and minerals in the Codex Guidelines for Nutrition Labelling.

The history of this work is captured in a publication launched at this session of the committee which documents the process and decisions involved in reviewing the Codex NRVs and provides a valuable record of many years of novel and complex technical work.

Janine Lewis, Principal Nutritionist at Food Standards Australia New Zealand, author of the publication tells the story.

As leader of the Australian delegation 1998–2016 during which time Australia led the work on the major revision of the Nutrient Reference Values – Requirements for protein, vitamins and minerals, I was thrilled to be asked by FAO to write a publication about Codex nutrient reference values following the Commission’s approval of CCNFSDU’s recommendations. Given the complexity of the revision, I am particularly pleased to document a detailed record of the approach used in the revision and to acknowledge the formative project work from the South African and Korean delegations.   

Having the publication available on the FAO website, my hope is that many people in the wider Codex community and beyond — as national and regional food regulators and policy makers, health professionals and educators, and interested members of the community will find this booklet informative and useful in understanding the history, intended use and basis for international nutrient reference values in nutrition labelling.

Janine Lewis

Janine Lewis, author of the publication Codex nutrient reference values, at CCNFSDU38, Hamburg 2016

The Committee’s work to establish new Codex NRVs-R for older infants and young children will be no less complex than the previous revision of NRVs-R for the general population. My hope is that the detailed record will assist the Committee in taking the new work forward.  WHO’s and FAO’s commencement of a review of certain vitamin and mineral requirements for infants and young children is also an important development. I have a keen interest in the work ably lead by the delegation of Ireland to establish NRVs-R for this age group and I extend my best wishes to all involved in working toward a most valuable outcome.