Consumer studies

Developing a nutrient and/or health claim label for packaged babyleaf spinach and rocket

Why study this?

Nutrient claim data uses “average” values but it is not clear what these were/are for baby leaf spinach and rocket.

Establishing these will help Australia’s fruit and vegetable industries to make informed and up-to-date decisions relating to nutrition labelling and health claims.

What was done

Agronomic and postharvest monitoring experiments were conducted to determine the variability of the nutrients, antioxidants, folate and glucosinolates respectively in spinach and rocket in relation to growing season, variety and storage conditions.
Consumer focus groups were run by the University of Wollongong’s Smart Foods Centre to determine if consumers want nutrient information on the label of packaged baby leaf spinach and rocket.

IMG_3508What we found

The following claims could be made for babyleaf spinach and rocket:

  • They form part of a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables
  • Babyleaf rocket is a source of vitamin C, folate and Vitamin A (beta-carotene)
  • Babyleaf spinach is a source of folate and Vitamin A (beta-carotene)

However, consumer studies suggested the use of a nutritional claim was not as important as flavour or variety.

Where to next?

From this review, a summary of how appropriate health and nutrient claims can be made for other fresh fruit and vegetables will be developed and published.

Resources

Developing a nutrient:health claim label for packaged baby leaf spinach and rocket

For more information contact
Dr Gordon Rogers, Applied Horticultural Research Pty Ltd
gordon@ahr.com.au

VG08148