Ultra-processed foods are those that are ready- or semi-ready-to-eat and consist partially or entirely of industrial ingredients. We chose this classification because it includes foods that are forming a growing part of the Brazilian diet 18 - Processed foods in which the reference serving size according to the Brazilian legislation 8 was defined based on household measurements or according to the food's nutritional profile.
Bakery products prepared and packaged by the supermarket itself, as the nutrition labeling of products sold without packaging or with protective packaging is not mandatory. Data collection was done by dietitians and trained nutrition students during two consecutive weeks in August The instrument used for data collection had been previously tested in a pilot study.
The instrument included the following information: type of processed food, flavor, total weight g or mL , brand, origin location where the food was produced , serving size g or mL , household measurement and energy value per serving. Variations of the same processed food available in packages of different sizes were recorded as new products, as not all of them had identical serving sizes.
Information was collected on reference serving size in energy value and in grams or milliliters according to Brazilian nutritional labeling legislation 8 and the "Food Guide for the Brazilian Population" The collected data were entered into two separate databases and were subsequently checked for errors and validated in EpiData r version 3. Group A : Composed of bakery products, cereals, legumes, roots, tubers, and their derivatives, including the following subgroups: dry pasta instant noodles ; fresh pasta with or without filling ; fresh dough for pastries and wraps; pizza dough; chilled or frozen dough without filling e.
Group B : Composed of milk and dairy products, including the following subgroups: dairy drinks, yogurt and fermented milk; cottage, nonfat ricotta, minas, nonfat soft and petit-Suisse cheese; grated cheese; ricotta, semi-hard, white, soft and cream cheese; and dairy desserts. Group D : Composed of oils, fats and oilseeds, including the following subgroups: oilseeds sweet and salty and whipped cream. Group E : Composed of sugars and products that provide energy from carbohydrates and fats, including the following subgroups: chocolates and similar sweets; chocolate confections e.
Group F : Composed of pre-prepared dishes, including only one subgroup: ready and semi-ready pre-prepared dishes e. In the descriptive analysis of the data, we initially compared the reference serving sizes of the nutrition labeling legislation 8 with those of the "Food Guide for the Brazilian Population" In addition, we calculated the median and range of the serving sizes reported on the labels by food subgroup in order to assess the variability of their sizes.
In each food subgroup, we also calculated the median and interquartile range for the reported energy values per serving. Considering that both Brazilian nutrition labeling legislation 8 and the "Food Guide for the Brazilian Population" 12 have reference energy values per serving for each food group, we calculated the ratio between the energy value reported on the labels and the reference values for each subgroup. Thus, it was possible to assess the agreement between these two parameters reported energy value and reference values. The non-parametric Spearman correlation test was performed between reference serving size and energy density, both per g of each food analyzed and per g of the reference value in the nutrition labeling legislation.
This analysis made comparison possible between the theoretical energy density used by the legislation to calculate serving size and the energy density of the foods analyzed in this study. This study included only products with serving sizes defined by law in grams or milliliters. To analyze the serving sizes g or mL reported on labels in relation to the reference values, the foods were classified into five groups. This classification was done according to the reference serving size under Brazilian law, following the criteria presented in Table 1.
However, we have not included the foods in Group F because these foods do not have a reference serving size in grams or milliliters.
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Information was collected from the nutrition labels on 2, processed foods. In the comparative analysis between the reference serving sizes under Brazilian law and those of the "Food Guide for the Brazilian Population", we observed that although both use a 2, kcal diet as a basis, there were differences between these documents. There were disagreements in the classification of foods into groups as well as in the energy value of the serving sizes, as can be seen in Table 2.
Agreement was observed only in the serving sizes of the 'cereals, tubers, roots and derivatives' and 'fruits and natural fruit juices' groups. Beans were considered to be a separate group only in the "Food Guide for the Brazilian Population" 12 , as the nutrition labeling legislation 8 included beans in the cereals group. Reference value for ready- and semi-ready-to-consume dishes were not defined in either of the two documents analyzed 8 , In regard to serving sizes in grams or milliliters, we found that the Food Guide 12 defined serving sizes by food type and not by food group, as the nutrition labeling legislation did 8.
For example, cakes with different flavors had different serving sizes in the Food Guide - e. However, under the nutrition labeling legislation, all cake types and flavors had the same reference serving size 60 g. Note : 1Classification of serving size in g or mL reported on the label in relation to the legislated reference serving size. Note : Based on a diet of 2, kcal.
Table 3 shows the variability of serving size and energetic value per serving reported on the food labels analyzed. It also presents the ratios between the reported energy values and the reference values. The serving size analysis found that the median serving sizes of 28 subgroups However, serving size standardization in which all food products have declared serving sizes equal to those recommended by law was found in only six food subgroups The 28 remaining subgroups varied in reported serving sizes, with a minimum range of g among salty crackers and a maximum range of g among ready- and semi-ready-to-consume dishes.
The greatest variations were found in the following subgroups: ready- and semi-ready-to-consume dishes; meatballs and hamburgers; meat preparations with flour and bread; and dairy drinks, yogurt and fermented milk. The fresh pasta and dry pasta groups stand out as their reported energy values were 1. A high inverse correlation was found between the reference energy density per g and the reference serving size established under Brazilian nutrition labeling legislation, as shown in Figure 1.
However, a low inverse correlation was found between legislated reference serving size and energy density per g of the foods analyzed, as shown in Figure 2. In Figure 2 , it can be seen that above the curve, there are processed foods that have large serving sizes defined by law, yet present high energy density.
It can also be observed that, if all the foods reported the reference serving size, their energy value would not be the same as that established by law. This data indicates that the energy density of the analyzed foods is different from the theoretical energy density that was used to calculate serving sizes for nutrition labeling legislation.
Dietary Guide for the Brazilian Population Group A: Bread products, cereals, legumes, roots, tubers and their derivatives. Group B: Milk and derivatives. Group C: Meats and eggs.
Group D: Oils, fats and oilseeds. Group E: Sugars and products that provide energy from carbohydrates and fats. In analyzing the compliance of reported serving sizes with the law, it was found that Among the foods that did not exactly match the reference serving size, The remaining foods did not comply with the law, as 9.
This study's results show that the reference serving sizes under the Brazilian nutrition labeling legislation 8 and the "Food Guide for the Brazilian Population" 12 are different for some food groups while the serving sizes reported on labels do not generally follow either of these references. Reported serving sizes were also heterogeneous even among foods of the same group. We point out that there are currently two official documents that provide different reference serving sizes for the Brazilian population, even though both are based on a 2, kcal diet 8 , The disagreement between the serving sizes defined by these two public policies is also found in other countries such as the United States and Canada.
In these countries, this difference is justified by the different purposes of the policies, as serving sizes on labels represent the amount of the food that is typically consumed while serving sizes in the Food Guides are recommended amounts 2 , 12 , However, this justification is not applicable in Brazil since both documents have the same goal of promoting the selection of healthy foods in appropriate amounts. Furthermore, research has shown that the disagreement between the serving size on nutritional labels and that of the Food Guide can cause confusion 22 or lead consumers to underestimate serving sizes 23 , In addition, several studies analyzed by Abramovitch et al.
In this sense, the authors understand that agreement between these two documents could facilitate nutrition education programs for the public 26 , The present study also found that the serving sizes reported on the labels did not conform with the reference serving sizes in grams or milliliters, nor with the reference energy values 8 , Variation was observed in reported serving sizes among foods of the same group and the greatest range was found in the ready and semi-ready pre-prepared dishes group.
This group is also the one that does not have a reference serving size in Brazil - neither in the labeling legislation 8 nor in the Food Guide According to a study conducted in Ireland, food guides rarely define reference serving sizes for the public for foods with high energy values, such as ready-to-consume dishes. This is due to the fact that such foods do not belong in a healthy diet. In these cases, there are merely warnings that such foods should be consumed sporadically or in small portions Even so, the terms 'sporadically' and 'small portions' may have no practical significance, as their interpretation is subjective.
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Furthermore, high consumption of these foods by Brazilians 20 has been linked to rising rates of chronic diseases 15 , Therefore, it is suggested that defining reference serving sizes for these foods can be a means of promoting nutrition education and improving the quality of information for consumers. The lack of standardization in the reporting of serving size in nutrition labeling was also reported in a Brazilian study that analyzed labels for yogurt, dairy drinks and fermented milk sold in the state of Minas Gerais and found a range of serving sizes from to g the legislated reference serving size is g The variability of the foods analyzed in the present study was even greater, reaching a range of 75 to g.
Similar results have also been found in studies conducted in other countries where nutrition label information is also presented per serving. In Australia, for example, 1, processed foods were analyzed and serving sizes for snacks ranged from 18 g to g, demonstrating a lack of uniformity According to the scientific literature, a lack of serving size standardization can compromise the comparability of processed foods and thus food choices, if this is the only information reported on nutrition labels 13 , 22 , 29 , Furthermore, even though Brazilian law allows a variability of Other studies conducted in Brazil have also found high nonconformity of food labels with the Brazilian law 33 - These studies have identified the greatest irregularities on food labels to be those referring to nutrition information 33 - Such studies reinforce the recommendation to better regulate the nutrition information provided on food labels.
In addition to the lack of serving size uniformity, low conformity has also been observed in the reported energy value per serving compared to the legislated reference value. Therefore, it is necessary to review the serving sizes in grams and milliliters defined by Brazilian law, so that they reflect on food labels the energy recommendations per serving established by the same legislation.
Furthermore, the definition of reference serving sizes per subgroup can explain this result, as foods with different flavors can have different energy densities. For example, the Food Guide defines different serving sizes for foods with different flavors that belong to the same group. In the case of corn bread and rye bread, for instance, the serving size is 70 g for the former and 60 g for the latter Therefore, it is suggested that the nutrition labeling legislation's classification of foods into subgroups also be assessed so that the reference serving sizes reflect reference energy values on food labels.
Despite a lack of studies evaluating the effects of defining reference serving sizes for the population, Faulkner et al. Researchers also point to the need for establishing more realistic serving sizes than the public currently customarily consumes 2 , It is noteworthy that the scientific community considers reference serving sizes and their respective household measurements to be essential to understanding the applicability of nutrition labeling 22 , However, studies also emphasize that it is vital to equip the Brazilian consumer to know how to interpret nutrition labels.
Thus, such information can potentially play an educational role and facilitate food choices 39 , Finally, it is recommended that nutrition information per g be included together with serving size information. According to some authors, the inclusion of such information could facilitate consumer analysis of nutrient quantities present in foods as well as comparisons between foods 41 , Limitations of this study include using only information from labels and not performing physical or chemical analyses on the foods or even weighing them. Even so, we analyzed the information that is available to consumers on labels, which is the only information that is currently available to guide their food choices at the time of purchase.
Therefore, considering the rights of the consumer and the goals of labeling as a public health policy, the reliability of this information should be guaranteed by manufacturers and be subject to oversight to ensure compliance with the law. Another of this study's potential limitations was the inclusion of processed foods from a single supermarket. If you store foods at a temperature lower than 36F you run the risk of freezing items that should not be, like milk and dairy products, where as if you store them at a higher temperature than 45F the food could spoil.
But the colder the food is the longer it will last, making 38F an ideal temperature for commercial refrigeration. Freezer temperature ranges are generally much colder. Some foods are more sensitive to cold temperatures than others, so the type of food you are storing as well as the type of refrigeration unit you are using will also affect the temperature you need to set. For instance, foods that require being stored below 35F will require a forced defrost cycle.
Here are some general guidelines for temperature ranges based on the type of refrigeration unit you have:. Commercial refrigeration units take time to stabilize their set temperatures and the bigger the unit the longer it takes. When adjusting the temperature wait for a full day and check it again before storing food products. So how do you maintain the temperature once it stabilizes? Commercial refrigeration temperatures will rise the most when the equipment doors are open.
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods September 2011
Because equipment thermostats are located near the doors this can sometimes cause a false read. If temperatures are reading above normal try waiting 5 to 10 minutes with the door closed and then check the temperature again. Manufacturers like Kool-It and True offer owner maintenance videos on their websites. Be sure to educate your restaurant staff about the importance of keeping refrigerator and freezer doors and drawers closed. Because of the inaccuracies of the thermostats on equipment doors you might want to consider a secondary thermometer to be placed under or near evaporator coil.
If you have concerns about particular temperature sensitive foods you should also have thermometers in place for them or freezer alarms to signal you if there is a danger of thawing. To find this information on our website check out our Learning Center.
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