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Panel Discussion on Clean Labels – Commentary article


Senior Research Scientist, NSF International

The clean label movement: getting clear about transparency

The challenge of the clean label movement is manifold – chiefly because there is no clear-cut definition for what “clean label” actually means. Ask any five consumers what they consider a clean label and you are very likely to receive five different answers! At tradeshows one hears the phrase, “a few simple ingredients” when referring to clean labels, but what is simple and how many are a few? We as an industry need to collaborate to create a definition upon which we can all agree. This establishes an even playing field in the market for all brands that wish to market clean label products.


A common theme cited by consumers when searching for clean labels is not wanting ingredients with names that sound like chemicals. This includes preservatives, emulsifiers and texture agents which are listed by their common chemical names. Artificial colors and flavors are also generally held in disdain by those seeking clean products. All of these were developed to make food processing easier and more cost effective.


How does reverting to “natural” co ...

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