Nutritional Quality of Plant-Based Drinks Sold in Italy: The Food Labelling of Italian Products (FLIP) Study

Donato Angelino, Alice Rosi, Giorgia Vici, Marika Dello Russo, Nicoletta Pellegrini, Daniela Martini, on behalf of the SINU Young Working Group on behalf of the SINU Young Working Group
2020 Foods  
Plant-based drinks represent a heterogeneous class of beverages, made from several vegetal sources, with a market rapidly expanding around the world. These beverages are mainly drunk in the replacement of milk. Thus, aims of the present study were to: (i) evaluate the nutritional declaration of 330 plant-based drinks currently available on the Italian market; (ii) compare their nutrition facts based on type, presence or not of organic certification and nutrition (NC) or health claims (HC), and
more » ... h claims (HC), and of specific claims ("no added sugars" and "source of calcium"); (iii) compare their nutrition composition with cow's milk. A high variability in terms of nutrient profile among products was observed. Limited difference was found between products belonging to both organic and NC categories, while products carrying HC showed lower energy, carbohydrates, sugar, and higher protein contents than the related counterparts. Compared to cow's milk, plant-based drinks showed differences in terms of nutrient profile, mostly regarding the lower protein content (except for soy drinks). Overall, due to the variability, findings from the present survey show that plant-based drinks sold in Italy cannot be considered tout court as milk substitutes and support the importance of improving knowledge towards food labeling to make conscious food choices.
doi:10.3390/foods9050682 pmid:32466295 fatcat:yghu3spy5nfb7h2bfeqpzzuioe