Modeled industry-wide food and beverage reformulations reduce the gap between current and nutritionally adequate dietary intakes among French adults

  • Matthieu Maillot
  • Lisa Privet
  • Gabriel MassetEmail author
Original Contribution



The objective was to assess the capacity of food reformulations to reduce the required dietary changes to reach overall nutritional adequacy in the French adult population.


Reformulation standards, defined using the Nestlé Nutritional Profiling System (NNPS), were applied to the French food composition database (CIQUAL-2013), classifying foods into “PASS” or “FAIL”. Baseline nutritional intakes were estimated for 1838 adults of the INCA2 French national survey according to three scenarios based on: (1) the original food composition database (CURRENT), (2) a “reformulated” database in which the nutrient composition of FAIL products was adjusted to the NNPS standards (REFORMULATION), and (3) a “substituted” database in FAIL products were replaced by the most nutritionally similar PASS products from the same NNPS-category (SUBSTITUTION). For each scenario, starting from each baseline diet, a new optimized diet was modeled to fulfill a complete set of nutrient recommendations while remaining closest to the respective baseline diet. To quantify the dietary changes needed to reach nutritional adequacy in the optimized diets, the total dietary deviation (TDD) was calculated as the sum in quantities (grams) of the absolute difference between observed and optimized amount of repertoire foods (i.e., foods already consumed) plus the amount of non-repertoire foods (i.e., new foods added).


TDD was significantly lower in the REFORMULATION and the SUBSTITUTION scenarios compared to CURRENT (1269 g/day, 1191 g/day and 1494 g/day, respectively). This was explained by smaller shifts among repertoire foods and less additions of non-repertoire foods.


Nutritional reformulation of the food supply may reduce the dietary changes required to achieve nutritionally adequate diets, but would not suffice to reach the complete set of nutrient recommendations.


Food reformulation Linear programming Nutrient profiling 



The authors would like to thank Kevin C Mathias for reviewing the manuscript. The study was funded by Nestec SA.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

The INCA 2 study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects/patients were approved by the French Data Protection Authority (Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés). All participants gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study.

Conflict of interest

Nestec SA funded this study. At time of submission, GM was employed by Nestec SA; MM and LP were employed by MS-Nutrition, which received funding from Nestec SA to conduct this study.

Supplementary material

394_2019_1973_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (659 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 658 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MS-NutritionMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Nestlé Research CenterLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Cereal Partners WorldwideOrbeSwitzerland

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