Nutrient Profiling Model Towards Recommendation of A Healthy Diet: A Scoping Review

Ruhaya Salleh, Roslee Rajikan, Suzana Shahar, Mohd Razif Shahril, Siti Masitah Elias, Noor Ani Ahmad


The objective of this study is to identify the availability of Nutrient Profiling (NP) models worldwide and discuss their application. This scoping review is based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses Extension for the Scoping Review (PRISMA-ScR) and the Arksey and O’Malley framework. Articles related to NP among adults published from 2012 to 2022, written in English, were retrieved from the Web of Science, Science Direct, Scopus, and Pubmed databases. Mendeley software was used for database acquisition and MS Excel for the syntesis process. Only 17 articles out of 2,019 article titles identified met the inclusion criteria for the review. This review discovers that the applications of NP in nutrition policies include food labelling, Front-Of-Pack (FOP), and regulations on food marketing, health, and nutrition. Fibre is the nutrient that needs to be included in the NP application compared to saturated fats, fatty acids, sodium, and total sugar. This scoping review demonstrates the scientific basis of the NP model’s development in public health policy, leading to advocacy and the recommendation of healthy diets.


Arksey H, O'Malley L. 2005. Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. Int J Soc Res Methodol 8(1):19‒32.
Drewnowski A, Fulgoni III VL. 2008. Nutrient profiling of foods: Creating a nutrient-rich food index. Nutr Rev 66(1):23‒39.
Debeljak K, Pravst I, Košmelj K, Kač M. 2015. "Healthier" and "less healthy" classifications according to three nutrient profiling systems relative to nutrition and health claims on food labels. Acta Aliment 44(4):561‒1569.
Drewnowski A, Dwyer J, King JC, Weaver CM. 2019. A proposed nutrient density score that includes food groups and nutrients to better align with dietary guidance. Nutr Rev 77(6):404‒416.
Drewnowski A, Fulgoni III VL. 2020. New nutrient rich food nutrient density models that include nutrients and MyPlate food groups. Front Nutr 7:107.
Department of Health, Food Standards Agency, British Retail Consortium. 2013. Guide to creating a Front of Pack (FoP) nutrition label for pre packaged sold through detail outlets. [Accessed 20th October 2022]
Duran AC, Ricardo CZ, Mais LA, Martins APB. 2021. Role of different nutrient profiling models in identifying targeted foods for front-of-package food labelling in Brazil. Public Health Nutr 24(6):1514‒1525.
[EFSA] European Food Safety Authority. 2008. The EFSA's 9th scientific colloquium-nutrient profiling for foods bearing nutrition and health claims. EFSA Support Publ 5(7):122.
Egnell M, Galan P, Farpour-Lambert NJ, Talati Z, Pettigrew S, Hercberg S, Julia C. 2020. Compared to other front-of-pack nutrition labels, the nutri-score emerged as the most efficient to inform Swiss consumers on the nutritional quality of food products. Plos One 15(2):e0228179.
Finkelstein EA, Ang FJL, Doble B, Wong WHM, van Dam RM. 2019. A randomized controlled trial evaluating the relative effectiveness of the multiple traffic light and nutri-score front of package nutrition labels. Nutrients 11(9):2236.
Frank T, Thow AM, Ng SW, Ostrowski J, Bopape M, Swart EC. 2021. A fit-for-purpose nutrient profiling model to underpin food and nutrition policies in South Africa. Nutrients 13(8):2584.
Fulgoni III VL, Keast DR, Drewnowski A. 2009. Development and validation of the nutrient-rich foods index: A tool to measure nutritional quality of foods. J Nutr 139(8):1549‒1554.
Hawkes C, Smith TG, Jewell J, Wardle J, Hammond RA, Friel S, Thow AM, Kain J. 2015. Smart food policies for obesity prevention. The Lancet 385(9985):2410–2421.
Julia C, Fézeu LK, Ducrot P, Méjean C, Péneau S, Touvier M, Hercberg S, Kesse-Guyot E. 2015. The nutrient profile of foods consumed using the British Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system is associated with metabolic syndrome in the SU. VI. MAX cohort. J Nutr 145(10):2355‒2361.
Julia C, Touvier M, Méjean C, Ducrot P, Péneau S, Hercberg S, Kesse-Guyot E. 2014. Development and validation of an individual dietary index based on the British Food Standard Agency nutrient profiling system in a French context. J Nutr 144(12):2009‒2017.
Kissock KR, Vieux F, Mathias KC, Drewnowski A, Seal CJ, Masset G, Smith J, Mejborn H, McKeown NM, Beck EJ. 2022. Aligning nutrient profiling with dietary guidelines: Modifying the nutri-Score algorithm to include whole grains. Eur J Nutr 1‒13.
Labonté MÈ, Poon T, Gladanac B, Ahmed M, Franco-Arellano B, Rayner M, L'Abbé MR. 2018. Nutrient profile models with applications in government-led nutrition policies aimed at health promotion and noncommunicable disease prevention: A systematic review. Adv Nutr 9(6):741‒788.
Maillot M, Sondey J, Braesco V, Darmon N. 2018. The Simplified Nutrient Profiling System (SENS) adequately ranks foods in relation to the overall nutritional quality of diets: A validation study. Eur J Clin Nutr 72(4):593‒602.
Mainardi F, Drewnowski A, Green H. 2019. Personalized nutrient profiling of food patterns: Nestlé's nutrition algorithm applied to dietary intakes from NHANES. Nutrients 11(2):379.
Masset G, Scarborough P, Rayner M, Mishra G, Brunner EJ. 2015. Can nutrient profiling help to identify foods which diet variety should be encouraged? Results from the Whitehall II cohort. Br J Nutr 113(11):1800‒1809.
Mhurchu CN, Brown R, Jiang Y, Eyles H, Dunford E, Neal B. 2016. Nutrient profile of 23 596 packaged supermarket foods and non-alcoholic beverages in Australia and New Zealand. Public Health Nutr 19(3):401‒408.
Moore SG, Donnelly JK, Jones S, Cade JE. 2018. Effect of educational interventions on understanding and use of nutrition labels: A systematic review. Nutrients 10(10):1432.
Nor NM, Rusli SFM, Asmawi UMM. 2023. Awareness, knowledge, and practices towards reading snack food labels among Malaysian adolescents. J Gizi Pangan 18(1):61‒70.
Pandav C, Smith Taillie L, Miles DR, Hollingsworth BA, Popkin BM. 2021. The WHO South-East Asia region nutrient profile model is quite appropriate for India: An exploration of 31,516 food products. Nutrients 13(8):2799.
Rayner M, Scarborough P, Kaur A. 2013. Nutrient profiling and the regulation of marketing to children. Possibilities and pitfalls. Appetite 62:232‒235.
Ridoutt B. 2021. An alternative Nutrient Rich Food Index (NRF-ai) incorporating prevalence of inadequate and excessive nutrient intake. Foods 10(12):3156.
Santos M, Rito AI, Matias FN, Assunção R, Castanheira I, Loureiro I. 2021. Nutrient profile models a useful tool to facilitate healthier food choices: A comprehensive review. Trends Food Sci Technol 110:120‒131.
Scarborough P, Rayner M, Stockley L. 2007. Developing nutrient profile models: A systematic approach. Public Health Nutr 10(4):330‒336.
Sluik D, Streppel MT, van Lee L, Geelen A, Feskens EJ. 2015. Evaluation of a nutrient-rich food index score in the Netherlands. J Nutr Sci 4:14.
Tricco AC, Lillie E, Zarin W, O'Brien KK, Colquhoun H, Levac D, Moher D, Peters MDJ, Horsley T, Weeks L et al. 2018. PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): Checklist and explanation. Ann Intern Med 169(7):467‒473.
Vlassopoulos A, Masset G, Charles VR, Hoover C, Chesneau-Guillemont C, Leroy F, Lehmann U, Spieldenner J, Tee ES, Gibney M, et al. 2017. A nutrient profiling system for the (re) formulation of a global food and beverage portfolio. Eur J Nutr 56:1105‒1122.
Voinea L, Popescu DV, Negrea TM, Dina R. 2020. Nutrient profiling of Romanian traditional dishes-prerequisite for supporting the flexitarian eating Style. Information 11(11):514.
[WHO] World Health Organization. 2011. Nutrient profiling: Report of a WHO/IASO Technical Meeting. Geneva (CH): WHO.
[WHO] World Health Organization. 2015. Healthy diet. Fact sheet No. 394. [Accessed 25 June 2022].
[WHO] World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. 2016. Action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases in the WHO European Region. Denmark (DK): WHO


Ruhaya Salleh
Roslee Rajikan (Primary Contact)
Suzana Shahar
Mohd Razif Shahril
Siti Masitah Elias
Noor Ani Ahmad
Author Biographies

Roslee Rajikan, Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (HCare), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Suzana Shahar, Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (HCare), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Mohd Razif Shahril, Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (HCare), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Siti Masitah Elias, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Bandar Baru Nilai, 71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia



Noor Ani Ahmad, Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia



SallehR., RajikanR., ShaharS., ShahrilM. R., EliasS. M., & AhmadN. A. (2023). Nutrient Profiling Model Towards Recommendation of A Healthy Diet: A Scoping Review . Jurnal Gizi Dan Pangan, 18(3), 197-208.

Article Details