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NEW DELHI: Swiss packaged foods and beverages company Nestle said it is working on a company-wide project to update its nutrition and health strategy after a news report in The Financial Times revealed that more than 60% of the company’s mainstream food and drinks portfolio failed to meet recognised standards of health and nutrition, putting the world’s largest packaged foods company under fire.

In a presentation that was circulated among Nestle’s top employees this year and seen by The Financial Times, the report said, “Nestlé, has acknowledged that more than 60 per cent of its mainstream food and drinks products do not meet a ‘recognised definition of health’ and that ‘some of our categories and products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate."

It added that 70% of Nestle’s products within its core foods and drinks portfolio failed to meet a ranking threshold derived by the Austr​alian health star rating system.

In a statement released globally, the Swiss company’s spokesperson said the company is looking at its entire portfolio to ensure its products help consumers across age groups meet their nutritional needs and support a balanced diet.

"For example, we have reduced the sugars and sodium in our products significantly in the past two decades, about 14-15% in the past 7 years alone. In recent years, we have launched thousands of products for kids and families that meet external nutrition yardsticks. We have also distributed billions of micronutrient doses via our affordable and nutritious products. As we consider our future nutrition strategy, we are first focusing on assessing the part our food and beverage portfolio that can be measured against external nutrition profiling systems," the company spokesperson said in a statement.

Information accessed by The Financial Times excluded baby formula, pet food, coffee and the company’s health sciences division.

The company said while systems like the Health Star Rating and Nutri-Score are useful and enable consumers to make informed choices, “they don’t capture everything".

“About half of our sales are not covered by these systems. That includes categories such as infant nutrition, specialized health products and pet food, which follow regulated nutrition standards. We believe that a healthy diet means finding a balance between well-being and enjoyment. This includes having some space for indulgent foods, consumed in moderation," the statement said.

Spokesperson for the company’s India business, where it sells brands such as Maggi noodles and Munch chocolates, said it is constantly working towards increasing the nutrient profile of its products, as well as innovate with new and nutritious offerings.

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