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Barilla is committed to developing products that offer excellent taste and a continuously improved the nutritional profile, in relation to a balanced and sustainable diet.

The rules of this commitment have been formalized over the years, into the Barilla Nutritional Guidelines, which underpin the continuous improvement of existing products and the launch of new products designed to promote personal wellbeing, through a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The Barilla Nutritional Guidelines

First drawn up in 2009, the Nutritional Guidelines are updated every three years on the basis of internationally established dietary guidance, such as "Dietary Guidance for Americans" and the dietary reference intake tables for nutrients and energy (LARN), published by the Italian Society for Human Nutrition (SINU).

In the process of updating these guidelines, Barilla's Nutrition Unit collaborates with the Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board, an advisory body made up of international experts in nutrition and various other fields of medicine, which assists the company on matters of nutritional research.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING ADVISORY BOARD

The Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board is a group of international experts, which will guide Barilla, over the next few years, in understanding and promoting healthy lifestyles, thus marking a step forward with respect to the Nutrition Advisory Board, which has focused on the nutritional development of the Group's product range from 2004 to date.
The Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board will support Barilla in formulating strategies for health and wellbeing, in order to equip the company with a comprehensive overview of what people need to lead a healthy life.

Health and Wellbeing Advisory Boar

The Guidelines set out criteria and reference values for the main nutrients contained in our products, defined on the basis of the nutritional content of each individual food and its impact on human being diet. In particular, they provide precise guidance on fats, sodium, sugars and calorie intake.

Furthermore, to measure the effect of applying the Guidelines to the development of its product range, the Group calculates the Barilla Nutrition Index, by classifying its product portfolio into three categories:

  • Joy for you: tasty, satisfying products, but with a high energy content, which should be consumed in moderation.
  • Better for you: products reformulated on the basis of the Nutritional Guidelines, and new products with one or more improved nutrients compared with the category average.
  • Good for you: products fully aligned with the requirements set out in the Guidelines.

According to category, each product is assigned a score, ranging from a minimum of 0, for "Joy for You" products to a maximum of 1.25, for "Good for You" products, which have been reformulated to further improve their nutritional profile, even though it was already fully aligned with the Guidelines.

By multiplying the sales volumes of products by the score assigned to their respective family, we obtain the Barilla Nutrition Index. The Group's target for 2020 is to keep improving the nutritional profile of its recipes, and extend its offering of products complying with the Guidelines, so as to keep the index above 91.5 - the target value set for 2020, which is now in the process of reformulation.

Nutrition Index trend
201620172020
9395.591.5

Products aligned with Barilla Nutritional Guidelines
201520162017
85%86%86%

NUTRI-SCORE: TRAFFIC-LIGHT LABELING FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION

In 2017, France officially adopted the Nutri-Score nutritional labeling system.

Nutri-Score traffic light labels schematically simplify the complex list of ingredients and nutritional values that a food may have, thus offering the best way of helping consumers understand the nutritional characteristics of a product at a glance, through the use of five colors, from green to red, which correspond to the first five letters of the alphabet, 'A' to 'E'. The color is assigned according to the quantities of ingredients and nutrients that should be limited, such as simple sugars and salt, and those that have a positive impact on health, such as fiber. The color scheme is simplicity itself: red indicates a food to be consumed in moderation, green indicates a food that plays an important role in healthy eating, while yellow prompts consumers to avoid eating excessive quantities of a given product, in order to stick to a balanced diet. The labels were warmly received by both the WHO and consumer associations.

Barilla has decided to adopt the new labeling system for Harrys brand products, in the knowledge that it can provide consumers with important information, and raise awareness of the benefits of opting for healthy, nutritionally balanced foods.

Nutri-Score nutritional labeling system
Barilla's reformulation plans

Within the framework of its Better Nutrition project, the Group has been committed, since 2009, not only to launching new products, but also to reformulating existing recipes in line with its nutritional guidelines, so as to improve their nutritional profile and actively contribute to people wellbeing and to the uptake of healthy, balanced diets. As a result of this project, Barilla has improved the nutritional profile of 387 products since 2010. 

Products reformulated to improve their nutritional profile
201520162017
1314126

During the year, the Barilla Group also implemented its Sugar 2.0 plan, involving the reformulation of various types of products so as to reduce their sugar content. Phase one of the project focused on revising our recipes for ready sauces and bakery products. With specific regard to sugar, the Barilla Nutritional Guidelines require that sweet products contain no more than 20% sugar by weight, and single-portion products contain no more than 10 grams. The aim of reformulation is therefore to:

  • reduce added sugar content, where possible, without compromising the taste of the product or the experience of consumers;
  • Work on the weight of portions, especially for single-portion products, starting with those with a sugar content of more than 10 grams;
  • Develop new products with lower sugar content, and continue our research into innovative ingredients that could help reduce sugar dosage.

In addition to the above, the information that Barilla offers consumers on its websites and on its product packaging forms, an integral part of the Sugar 2.0 program.

A total of 14 products, made up of sauces and bakery products, have been reformulated to date, in order to reduce their added sugar content.

14 products have been reformulated to reduce their added sugar content

We have also continued our efforts to reduce saturated fats and sodium, which concerned 12 recipes in 2017.

4 products were reformulated to reduce their total fat content and 5 to reduce their saturated fat content

 

3 products were reformulated to reduce their sodium content

PALM OIL

Our product reformulation process achieved significant results in the past 2 years, due to the replacement of palm oil with vegetable oils with lower saturated fat content. We managed to reduce saturated fat by over 4,350 tonnes, and reformulate over 150 recipes.

This process began some years ago, with bread products in Italy and a number of Harrys snack products for the French market. In May 2016, however, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a scientific study on contaminants, found to varying degrees in vegetable oils, including palm oil, which assesses their impact on health, based on the consumption of a range of food products. Opting for caution, Barilla therefore sped up the replacement of palm oil across its range.

New Barilla Products

Day by day, Barilla strives to develop products with excellent nutritional profiles, and to show a strong ability to meet the varying needs of people. During the year, the Group extended its range of wholegrain products with the launch of 9 new recipes in the pasta and bakery products categories.

Some of the most important new products developed by Barilla in recent years are the ones designed for people with celiac disease and gluten-intolerance, as witness sales of about 16,600 tonnes of gluten-free products over the course of the year.

LEGUMOTTI

A partnership between Barilla and Esselunga has seen the development of Legumotti, which are grains of legume flour designed for anyone with gluten-intolerance and anyone looking for foods that are healthy and natural, without compromising on taste.
To make this product, flour made from chickpeas, red lentils and peas is processed into rice-shaped grains, making it easy to cook and use in a wide range of recipes.

As well as having an excellent nutritional profile, Legumotti are also highly innovative in terms of the process from which they derived, because they were conceived as a result of Design Thinking, which is a creative, consumer-centric approach to innovation.

Legumotti

Other innovation work was channeled into formulating new recipes for everyone who has opted to follow a vegan diet, especially in the sauces category. 

Lastly, Barilla pursued its commitment to developing organic products made with the best organically farmed Italian durum wheat. In connection with this, Barilla organized the presentation and market launch of its organic pasta range at Cibus Connect, a trade show held in Parma in April 2017.

3D PASTA
Over the years, Barilla has followed a program of innovation aimed at integrating latest-generation digital technologies into its production processes.

On the strength of this program, the Group became the world's first food manufacturer to conduct research into new applications for 3D printers in pasta production.
As a result of this research work and of the partnership with TNO, a Dutch research center, Barilla has developed the world's first prototype 3D printer capable of producing fresh pasta, using a dough made from durum wheat semolina and water.
This new technology opens up a wide range of opportunities. For example, it can be used to make unique pasta formats, with shapes and geometries that cannot be achieved using conventional pasta production technologies. But the innovation is not confined to shape alone, because thanks to 3D printing, it will also be possible to customize taste, texture and nutritional value, using ingredients such as vegetables, legumes and flour from other wholegrain cereals, to create a pasta that has a higher fiber or higher protein content.

The project is currently in the research phase, while Barilla makes all the necessary assessments to identify the scenarios and possible applications of this innovation, in line with the changing requirements of the population.

3D Pasta
Glycemic Index

The glycemic index indicates the quality of carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100, and distinguishes between those that are digested quickly (high index) and those that are digested slowly (low index).

Low-index foods are metabolized more slowly and stop you feeling hungry for longer.

The study developed by the Human Nutrition Unit of the University of Milan, Human Nutrition Unit of the University of Parma and the IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, shows the position of Barilla products in the glycemic index.

The study analysed 141 commercial products representing the key food categories that are the source of more than 80% of carbohydrate intake in Italy, including their glycemic value.

The food items chosen are based mainly on the market share of the brand within each food category and grouped into 13 food categories: 1) beverages: fermented milk drink, juice, smoothie, soft drink; 2) biscuits; 3) breads; 4) bread substitutes; 5) breakfast cereals; 6) cakes and snacks; 7) candy and confectionery; 8) cereals; 9) desserts and ice-creams; 10) marmalade and jam; 11) pasta; 12) pizza; 13) sugar and sweetener.

The glycemic values have been determined according to the frameworks defined by FAO/WHO and ISO.

For the purpose of this report, only the categories in which Barilla products are included are mentioned.

FOOD CATEGORY

COMMERCIAL NAME

GLYCEMIC INDEX

BISCUITS

 

Gran Cereale Frutta (Grancereale, Barilla)

51

 

Gran Cereale Cioccolato (Grancereale, Barilla)

 

52

 

Gran Cereale Classico (Grancereale, Barilla)

 

49

 

Macine (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

 

52

 

Molinetti (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

 

58

 

Fior di Latte (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

47

 

Segreti di Bosco (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

53

 

Pavesini (Pavesi, Barilla)

52

 

Gemme Integrali (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

46

BREADS

Pagnottelle classiche (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

62

 

Pan bauletto al grano duro (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

68

 

Pan bauletto bianco (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

59

 

Pan bauletto 5 cereali e soia (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

60

 

Pan Bauletto Fior di Fibra (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

53

 

Cuor di Lino (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

58

 

Pan Bauletto Integrale (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

59

 

Sfilatini al grano tenero (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

65

BREAD SUBSTITUTES

 

Grissini classici friabili (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

66

 

Cracker salati Sfoglia di grano (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

63

 

Cracker integrali Sfoglia di grano (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

63

 

Spianate croccanti con semi di zucca (Grancereale, Barilla)

53

 

Focaccelle con olio di oliva extravergine (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

63

 

Fette Biscottate Le Dorate (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

64

 

Fette biscottate Cuori di orzo (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

45

 

Fette Biscottate Le Integrali (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

73

 

Gallette Chicchi al vento (Grancereale, Barilla)

67

BREAKFAST CEREALS

Cereali croccanti classico (Grancereale, Barilla)

66

 

Cereali croccanti frutta (Grancereale, Barilla)

62

CAKES AND SNACKS

Plumcake (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

47

 

Nastrine (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

47

 

Camille (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

51

 

Brioche Cereali e Cioccolato (Grancereale, Barilla)

66

 

Pangoccioli (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

50

 

Crostatina all’albicocca (Mulino Bianco, Barilla)

44

CEREALS

Orzo (Barilla)

58

 

Farro (Barilla)

63

 

Grano (Barilla)

72

PASTA

Penne (Barilla)

50

 

Pennette rigate (Barilla)

53

 

Spaghetti classici (Voiello)

51

 

Spaghetti n 5 (Barilla)

33

 

Spaghetti integrali (Barilla)

35

 

Tagliatelle all’uovo (Barilla)

55

 

Mini farfalle con carote e zucca (Piccolini, Barilla)

44

 

Mini penne rigate con zucchine e spinaci (Piccolini, Barilla)

48

 

Mini Pipe rigate con pomodori e carote (Piccolini, Barilla)

47

Source Glycemic index and glycemic load of commercial Italian foods F. Scazzina, M. Dall’Asta, M.C. Casiraghi, S. Sieri, D. Del Rio, N. Pellegrini, F. Brighenti.