An EU-funded research project is to develop models guaranteeing the accuracy of health claims on food labelling and improve visual and linguistic formats, making such messages easily understood by consumers across Europe.

The three-year EUR2.8m Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life (FLABEL) initiative aims to determine how nutritional information on food labels can affect dietary choices, consumer habits and food-related health issues by researching both the label and other factors.

FLABEL spokesperson Laura Smillie told just-food that the project will allow food producers to know what cross-cultural differences exist in the food industry so that it may target their products based on solid data.

"There's never been a study of this magnitude done on food labelling before. No magic bullet exits on labelling so this data may bring us closer to an ideal labelling system. If we have really good data from the 27 EU countries plus Turkey there will be valuable lessons learned."