When the EU Commission released its so-called Breakfast Directive earlier this year, honey, jam and fruit-juice labels are being dealt with on their own, not part of a clear and overarching Food Information to Consumers (FIC) package. The FIC would have finally regulated on the health or nutrition claims companies can make on their products: claims like "heart-healthy" "30 percent less fat" or "no added sugar".

Some sources claim there was heavy lobbying and controversy around the proposal for an EU-wide, mandatory front-of-pack nutritional label. The fact that the commission proposes that the fruit-juice sector should be able to add the claim "no added sugar" to the front of its pack, might mean that consumers will be misled into considering juices as a healthy option. Simultaneously, the industry thus gets a 'nutrition claim', like an advertising slogan, on every packet to boost their sales.

In fact, fruit juice is high in free sugars (from the fruit) which has the same health implications for consumers as added sugars. Sugars can be seen as naturally present and intact when they are in a whole fruit, vegetable or in milk. The moment that we juice fruit, remove the fibre, the naturally present sugar has a different effect. It is now called a free sugar. Added sugar is what we know as sugar and what some put in their coffee at breakfast.

Free and added sugars behave in the same way for our health. Juice or honey may contain vitamins or minerals, but they contain considerable amounts of free sugars and must be treated in the same way as added sugars, i.e. according to EFSA, consumed "as little as possible."

Source: euobserver.com