Nutritics is the technology partner on the LIFE Programme Climate Smart Chef Project, which aims to contribute to the development and implementation of the EU Climate Policy and the Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy by actively involving European chefs as promoters of low emission, nutritious and affordable diets, and to promote a mainstream debate on food as a key factor for climate change mitigation.
The Climate Smart Chefs Project has been making significant progress in promoting sustainability and nutrition within the culinary industry. Through high-level training courses and utilising Nutritics’ Foodprint software, chefs from around the world have been engaged in the reformulation of recipes to reduce their environmental impact. This summary presents the provisional results and observations from the project, highlighting the positive outcomes achieved thus far.
PROVISIONAL RESULTS AND OBSERVATIONS
After completing the first high level training course, reformulated by 13 chefs from 8 countries reformulated a number of recipes. Foodprint reduced the carbon footprint of recipes by an average of 1.34 kg C02eq (49%) and a water footprint of 789 litres of water per serving (34%).
This indicates that the software and associated training is effective in promoting sustainable practices among culinary professionals. Educating chefs, and enabling them to be leaders in the sustainability transition is key to transforming the sector.
The reformulated recipes in the Nutritics system had an average
energy reduction of 232 kcal per serving
16g reduction in fat per serving
6.7g reduction in saturated fat per serving
12g decrease per serving of protein
8.84g per serving decrease in carbohydrate
average reduction in salt was 0.07g per serving
The average % change in serving size was -24.33%.
This reformulation has been recognised as an essential step in the transition to healthier, and sustainable, food offerings across the hospitality and foodservice (HaFS) sector. Sustainable diets are not sustainable unless they are nutritionally adequate, and reformulating menus without assessing nutrition can result in a lower nutritional adequacy of the food offering. Recent articles, such as this one, have discussed the importance of including nutrition metrics in ESG reporting internationally, so it is important that companies undergoing reformulation at scale are considering the impact on nutrition and allergens, and new offerings are at least as healthy, if not healthier, than the original food offering. Reducing environmental impact and improving nutrition is essential to a successful transition to sustainable diets.
SCIENTIFIC RIGOUR AND SCALABILITY
The combination of qualitative and quantitative methods ensures scientific rigour in the research process, and allows for the confident evaluation of the effectiveness of sustainability training in the foodservice industry. Chef use of the software in reformulation showcases how companies can reformulate menus to be healthier, lower environmental impact, and increase profit margin and how this can be completed at scale. Surveys are completed at different stages of the course to collate feedback and data during the reformulation process. Data outputs are analysed by Nutritics and reviewed by the experts, with scientific research outputs informing evidence based change in the industry.
CHEF & STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
After a rigorous application process, 160 successful chefs were contacted to complete a high level training course, consisting of 4 weeks online and an in-person session in the world renowned ALMA Italian school. The course provides training and support to culinary professionals, with the Nutritics focus being on reformulation and using Foodprint for environmental impact calculation, and evaluating the impact on nutrition.
Chefs who are in the running to receive a Climate Smart Chef award, may become involved in a new network of chefs associations and can contribute to policy through the Life Climate Smart Chefs Vision 2030, a strategic paper aimed at providing policy recommendations and supporting EU Climate Policy.
100% of participants were interested in knowing the environmental impact of their recipes and menus
91.7% of chefs are now more confident on creating sustainable menus using the system
The user-friendliness and functionality of the Foodprint software were highly acclaimed, according to participant responses. 100% of the chefs would recommend Nutritics Foodprint to other chefs
“What an amazing tool! I believe it should be mandatory for all kitchens to have this tool in place and teach kitchen staff the technology to plan menus, calculate servings and reduce our carbon and water footprint. It is user-friendly and gives a completely different perspective to portion sizes and how easy it is to make small changes in ingredients that will have big effects on numbers.”
The roundtable feedback indicates that the significance of sustainability and the use of technology tools in the food industry is becoming increasingly recognised.
KEY DISCUSSION POINTS
Clear information and accessible path to funding, grants and learning resources.
Harmonious collaboration of data between restaurants, companies, government etc.
Business and economic recommendations
Investment and subsidies needed to facilitate the change to more environmental practices, i.e. the economic sector needs to be considered.
Financial contributions need to be considered.
Incentives for governments to invest are clear i.e. case studies from sustainable cities etc.
Training and keeping up-to-date with new technology is important.
Nutritional factors are to be considered when formulating recipes (sustainable diet as well as sustainable planet).
“Learning the why” for environmental changes.
Social, economic and nutritional factors need to be considered, not just environmental.
Education is of great importance.
In conclusion, the Climate Smart Chefs Project has made significant progress in promoting sustainability and nutrition in the culinary industry. The software and training courses have successfully engaged chefs from around the world, resulting in the reformulation of recipes that have significantly reduced carbon and water footprints. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the software and training program in encouraging sustainable practices among culinary professionals.
The project's partners, including Nutritics, have played a vital role in coordinating and implementing the project's activities. The engagement with chefs and stakeholders has been carefully structured, combining qualitative and quantitative methods to ensure scientific rigour and scalability. The project's outcomes and data analysis have the potential to drive evidence-based changes in the foodservice industry.
Nutritics is one of five partners within the project, the other partners include, Fondazione Barilla, ALMA, ENAIP Net and JAMK.
Fondazione Barilla | ITALY
ALMA Srl – The School of Italian Culinary Arts | ITALY
ENAIP NET | ITALY
JAMK University of Applied Science | FINLAND