Legal and scientific approach

The and legal and scientific approach to evaluation procedures has been at the heart of the activity of the Institute for over 55 years. Professor Joseph Bessemans, Chairman of the Jury of Monde Selection, explains:

Depending on the type or characteristics of each food and drink product, we carry out the following evaluations and analyses: sensory analyses by experienced professionals, chemical and bacteriologal analyses by certified laboratories. The laboratory results are then conmpared with the label on the product.

Our scientific committee carefully examines the list of ingredients, the nutritional information, the claims with regard to nutrition and health, description of properties of active substances that are featured as well as the instruction leaflet.

Particular attention is given to the analysis of the overall nutritional quality of the product. In fact, a product that meets all the rules of hygiene and labelling is not necessarily good on the grounds of nutrition. On the other hand, a product may be of exceptional nutritional quality but if the taste is not up to scratch the consumer will not go for it.

Overall evaluation

We do not judge only the organoleptic, chemical and bacteriological qualities of a product. At Monde Selection we are convinced that in the overall judgement of a product, before awarding it a bronze, silver, gold or grand gold quality award, there are two other aspects which must be considered, namely, the intrinsic qualities and communication with the consumer which are also very important.

In summary, our experts judge products in domains as varied as taste, helath claims, user-friendliness, labelling, packaging and even innovation. The importance give by each jury to these parameters depends on the type of product in question.

Ethical vision

Even if consumer protection is not our remit and that this is carried out by the public Health Ministry of each country involved, at Monde Selection we are involved in encouraging the producer to be transparent vis-à-vis the consumer by providing full and appropriate information that is based on scientific evidence. The consumers must have confidence in the information given on the label and the packaging. This information must be reliable and accurate and, of course comply with the law.

Based on existing laws

When judging the labelling and the instruction leaflet, we keep in mind the philosophy of the European Law on food safety (European Food Law) which, as far as we know, corresponds to many non-European laws, such as the recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America or the many laws written by the Ministry of Health, Work and Social Protection in Japan.

The European Regulations and Directives are very complex and we cannot insist in non-European companies to apply these strictly to the letter. However, in our opinion the label on the product must provide the consumer with the information required to make a choice in full knowledge of the facts. To this end you may consult the European Regulations and Directives in order to optimise the quality of your labelling and the content of the instruction leaflet. *

Legislation

Regular updates

Finally, we would like to stress that at Monde Selection we endeavour to always follow developments in legal prescriptions, international food standards and guidelines of Codex Alimentarius, food industry trends, opinions of professional organisations and developments in scientific data. Therefore, we adjust our evaluation criteria every year if required and on mature reflection.

Independence and integrity

Next, we would like to stress the fact that our judges are external, chosen for their professional qualifications, their competence, their experience and their integrity. They are completely independent in their judgements.

This independence as well as their commitment to the aims and objectives of our Institute is of great importance in guaranteeing the integrity of the selection process and ensuring the quality of our selections.

The permanent organising committee of Monde Selection check all the operations of the selection. This starts from the registration of the product to the receipt of the samples and their storage, through the evaluation sheets and the classifications, checking the coherence, the exhaustive nature, the credibility as well as the internal coherence between the report and the results.

* There are important Internet sites on these subjects:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html (Regulations and Directives), www.efsa.europa.eu (European Food Safety Authority) and http://ec.europa.eu/food/index_en.htm (integrated approach regarding food safety).

These Internet sites present all the different Regulations and Directives such as Directive 2002/46/EC of 10 June 2002 relating to food supplements, Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods and the very important Regulation (EC) 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers,

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