Tag: label

Eggs, do we know what we buy? Let's read it on the label – Italian Cuisine


They are full of cholesterol and saturated fats, they are bad for the liver and are difficult to digest. How many times have we heard of eggs in these terms? Yet the evidence scientific they are very different. Just think that egg proteins are considered as much "Perfect" to be taken as a reference point by nutritionists to measure the biological value of protein of all foods. And that research on the relationship between eggs and health have given interesting results, dispelling the link between the consumption of eggs and the increase in cholesterol levels in the blood and the increased risk of illnesses cardiovascular.

But be careful: the eggs they are not all the same. How they live, that is how the hens are raised, makes a big difference. Of taste, and not only. We must therefore choose them well. Fortunately, the eggs have one of the labels more complete e transparent from all over the food world.


Also promoted by the WHO
The results of recent scientific studies are so interesting that they have pushed theWHO to remove the eggs from the list of foods to limit and to induce dieticians to recommend them to (almost) everyone, and especially to those who want to lose a few pounds. For those who want to diet eggs are an irreplaceable resource: they have few calories (78 for a large egg), stimulate the metabolism (all thanks to the choline) and provide lots of protein without the kit salt, additives or added fats of others products with which eggs are often replaced. Moreover, it is about source of protein that costs less than ever and therefore the eggs are suitable for any budget of expenditure. Not to mention cooks is chef that continue to enhance them in table, to the point that even restaurants where only served are born recipes egg-based gourmet, from Breakfast at dinner. Therefore, the time seems to have arrived unhinge the old ones "Legends" food and give the eggs the role they deserve table.

155789 Why reassess them
They are already perfect because theequilibrium between yolk and albumen it makes them balanced: theegg white contains about87% of water and the 50% of proteins (among which albumin stands out), while the yolk has the other 50% protein, but less water (about 50%), more fat, cholesterol and other nutrients, such as lecithin, which favors the digestion, and carotenoids, for action antioxidant. The yolk is also concentrated iron, which is better absorbed by our body when taken together with polypeptides and amino acidsegg white. In short, it is the mix its two parts to make the egg a high food nutritional quality: this is why it is better consume it whole rather than limiting oneself to the "white" and discarding the "red", as many do. Eating a egg great whole are obtained well 6.4 grams of "noble" protein and 5 grams of fat (especially unsaturated, including Omega 3), ie less than 8% of those recommended each day. And those 200 mg of cholesterol are a small thing compared to what you can take every day with food and has the effect of lower the cholesterol total in a circle in the blood, why increases the "good", which protects the arteries. Starting from these numbers, nutritionists have "Rehabilitated" the eggs. On condition of cook in the right way. For example, simply leave the egg for 3-5 minutes boiling water. In this way there are a couple of advantages: zero fat added and maximum absorption of vitamin B7 present in the album.

155799Life as a chicken
Over 40 million laying hens only in Italy; 13 billion eggs a year consumed only in our country; about 215 eggs a year each. Chicken breeding is a huge business. But how they are raised these hens? The simplest distinction is that concerning eggs biological (as long as it is a true biological one): they guarantee at least that the hens are not given antibiotics, feed no GMOs or fishmeal and that number of animals per square meter does not exceed a maximum number. There scientific research existing in this respect confirms what applies to meat and milk, that is to say the biological ones they are superior at both level nutritional (in part with more Omega3, vitamins A and E, beta-carotene) that of taste. obviously what the hens eat makes the difference. As for cholesterol in particular, it is clear from the studies that the eggs come from hens with a varied diet – and not the standard of soybean + corn only – contain less cholesterol. 155801As they increase antioxidant substances. The diet of the hens also affects the taste of their eggs, it is more than logical. Certainly chickens that graze have access to one variety of aromas incomparable with that of the bird seed from the battery.

The egg is really the superfood cheapest in the world, and for few cents more, it's really worth it compare it good.

Transparency on the label
Therefore it is fundamental how those who create the eggs live, that is the hens. Once established that, this food has another advantage not just: it does not contain any ingredient or additive added. And it boasts one of the labels more complete (although not always easy to interpret). The alphanumeric code which also comes stamped on the shell gives us theidentikit complete with the egg we are about to buy. Here is a guide for read correctly without getting lost or confusing. 155791There first digit indicates the type of breeding: 0 stands for agriculture biological, of which we have already spoken. The number 1 indicates theoutdoor breeding, where each animal is guaranteed a living space of 4 square meters. The number 2 is that for breeding a land, a method increasingly used by manufacturing companies but whose name is misleading, because the conditions of the animals are worse than they sound: they are huge warehouses closed with 7 animals per square meter, and this type of breeding does not require any rule in terms of feed. Finally the number 3 indicates breeding in 'equipped cage ', with twice as many animals per square meter (14) and cages as high as 40 cm. The next abbreviation is that of country of production: for example, Italian eggs can be recognized by the initials IT. Following is the figure of the Istat code of the Municipality, that of the Province. These two information They are only on Italian eggs. Finally, the last three digits identify the distinctive code of the breeder.

The labels are however clear. Unfortunately the same thing cannot be said about the eggs used in industrial preparations: anywhere, from biscuits to mayonnaise to vegetable pies, the type of eggs is not indicated used. We can only suspect that it is from default the cheapest, in spite of health and taste … For this reason some big companies are communicating to declare that they now use only eggs from free-range hens.

155795 I'm ok for a month
On package of eggs, then, comes the expiration date and above all the freshness of the eggs.

Eggs have a life of 28 days from the date of laying but must be withdrawn from the market seven days before the storage term indicated on thepackaging (24 to 48 hours between production and packaging). The wordings "extra" and "Extra fresh" they can be used only if the date of deposition and the term of consumption within which the eggs can be defined as extra and extra fresh, ie nine days from the day that the hen made the egg or seven since it was packed. These eggs are those of 'category A', the only ones for sale in stores. The category is established based on the characteristics of the shell, of the yolk, of theegg white and theirs freshness. Category B eggs are those with lower quality characteristics (for example, they can be frozen at a temperature below 4 °) while category C (and possibly D) is used for further downgraded eggs. All these eggs are intended for the food industry …

The expiration date is stamped also on shell, usually accompanied by the phrase "to be consumed preferably by …".

The place worse to store the eggs in the fridge are just the niches dedicated to them that are usually found in the top shelf of the front office. Frequent opening and closing causes temperature changes and abrupt movements they create microfractures in the shell, diminuendo the time of storage some eggs. Better to keep them in package original in one of the internal shelves.

155797Size and details
In terms of size, the eggs are not all the same. They can be varied size, that's why they are classified with letters capital letters like clothing sizes: XL le larger (over 72 grams); L le great (63-73 g); M le medium (53-63 g); S small (less than 53 g).
Furthermore, the eggs are classified into four categories of quality, identified by the first four letters of the alphabet.

Egg producers can add on other packages information, which underline any particular quality of the product and thus help consumers in their choice. For example the type of supply of the hens. If on the packaging there is written that they are nourished with cereals, means that at least the 60% of the ingredients of feed data to the hens is composed of cereals. If the label refers to a specific cereal (for example the corn) this must be at least the 30% of the feed. If we talk about more cereals, then each of them must constitute at least the 5% of the "recipe" of fodder.

Manuela Soressi
February 2018
updated in August 2019
by Carola Traverso Saibante




They are the numbers 1, at least for the breadth of the offer: in fact, they are beyond 18 thousand products food and beverages that highlight theirs on the packaging 'Italian'. This was revealed by the Observatory. I imagine it has caught and deepened this phenomenon, which is growing rapidly. Between tricolor flags and claim as "100% Italian", Dop stamps and Docg, the menu is complete and ranges from pasta to canned tomato, from wine to cheese, from cold cuts to biscuits. Consumers like it, so much so that Italianness is one of the most appreciated and determining requirements when it comes to choosing what to bring to the table. But why the "made in Italy" do you like it so much? For many reasons. "It is not so much a question of nationalism – reads a survey conducted by Altroconsumo – but of trust: in the rules that protect us, in the authorities that control, in the quality they offer products of our lands. Or, at other times, it is distrust in what comes from beyond the border and that we know less ”. This is why many companies, large and small, have begun to report their Italian matrix on product packaging and advertising. The examples are a lot different: there are those who have chosen to use only or above all ingredients Italians, those who produce in Italian plants and those who adopt typical recipes and traditional, which should ensure an Italian taste. Not everything, however, is clear and striking as it seems.

Altroconsumo wanted to check how it is reported the origin of foods on the labels of the most common food products. In many cases it is compulsory (and in this Italy is more severe than the rest of the EU), in others it is optional and voluntary. In recent years the number of alimony which must clearly indicate where it has come from: fruit, vegetables, milk and derivatives, extra virgin olive oil of olive, meat, tomato preserves, fish products, eggs, pasta, rice, and honey. And go look for it on the label or on the signs of the products sold bulk reserve of surprises. One can, for example, discover that the chain distributive which looks like paladin actually Made in Italy buys a lot of fruit and vegetables abroad. Or that the famous brand of honey Italian actually mixes honey import. Or that the company of jams that recalls tradition regionalactually uses fruit bought abroad. It is not a question of quality or safety, since every raw material coming from abroad must respect the rules imposed by the community rules. And that, however, the origin of a food does not necessarily guarantee the goodness. But it is a problem of transparency and "honesty”, Which can affect trust in a brand or a sign commercial.

"100% ITALIAN": CIOE ’?
A winning claim, which in 2018 has grown considerably both in terms of number of products involved (more than 4 thousand food products that can be purchased at the supermarket) and per ride business. It worked well especially on ice cream, snacks, frozen vegetables, poultry meats and cured meat cold cuts. But we need to make some distinctions. There are products where the sentence "100% Italian" refers to the whole food. Usually these are mono-ingredient products, such as the milk, extra virgin olive oil, pasta, the salt, the butter, it sugar, olives in brine, natural meats and preserves from tomato (especially the peeled). In many of these products, however, to signal the origin of the ingredients on the label is mandatory. But there are cases where to be "100% Italian" is just one of the ingredients, and it is not necessarily the most important one either significant: for example the sugar with which the biscuits were prepared, the milk used in the ice creams or the ham with which the sandwiches are stuffed.

It is not a good sign for the national economy to discover that, during the course of the 2018, this indication has disappeared from 2.6% of the food products that can be purchased at supermarket. It was, in particular, biscuits, pasta, mozzarella and pasta dishes ready. Evidently, the appeal to the imports and some productions have been located abroad. However, over 7 thousand foods and drinks remain packaged which continue to be implemented in Italian factories.

It is the most immediate sign of Italianness. And indeed the tricolor it is also the most used symbol on packs of food products that present themselves as Italian. Today it is found on over 10 thousand products sold in the supermarkets: from eggs to ice creams, from milk bread substitutes UHT, from frozen foods to cold cuts, from snacks to jams. However, in reality, it can mean everything and nothing: not being regulated by law, can also be used casually (as often happens abroad), even just to accompany a product made in the Italian manner or that see a taste, a recipe or an Italian specialty. Even in this case, therefore, it is better not to stop image of the flag but looking for more precise information on its label meaning.

Manuela Soressi
July 2019


Country of origin on the label: not just pasta and rice – Italian Cuisine

Pasta, love and pride of Italian cuisine. But where does the wheat come from?, where are spaghetti, rigatoni, conchiglie & c, glorious protagonists of local recipes? From our beautiful country? Or from unknown distant places?

Clarity on the country of origin: that's what asks 96% of consumers, according to the latest consultation of the Ministries of Agriculture. And that's what they will get, since a new decree provides that theindication of origin of the main ingredient it is not mandatory only for pasta (wheat) and rice, but for all foods, From hamburgers to fruit juices, from cold cuts to jams.

For a year already, the experimentationobligation to indicate onlabel of all dry pasta and rice marketed in Italy, the place of production of wheat and wheat rice.

As for pasta, the "country of wheat cultivation" and the "country of milling", ie where the semolina was produced, must be indicated on the label. If the cultivation / milling took place in a single country for at least – only … – 50%, this country is indicated and its membership in the European Union or not. For example: "Italy and other EU countries". Otherwise we read for example "EU and non-EU countries".

The introduction of the origin of wheat on pasta labels had "disruptive effects on the wheat imports from Canada with a drastic drop of 75% in the last year"- said Ettore Prandini, president of Coldiretti, the leading Italian agricultural association. Coldiretti has led a long battle against foreign wheat, accused of often arriving in our country already old and at risk of containing substances toxic to our body. Pointing the finger in particular on controls in foreign crops compared to the use of pesticides. Glyphosate, the most used in the world, is for example massively used in many producing countries, starting from Canada. In Italy for a couple of years its use has been severely restricted, but we can not say elimnitao (in addition to everything, you can easily buy online).

As for rice, the "Country of cultivation", the "Country of processing" and the "Country of packaging" are indicated on the label. If you find written "Origin of rice" and the name of only one country, it means that everything – cultivation, processing, packaging – took place in that country.

A similar provision had already been taken in 2016 with regard to dairy products, forcing the indication of the "milking country" and the "country of packaging and transformation". If the label indicates "Italian milk" it means that the whole process has taken place in Italy, otherwise the wording could be, for example, "Blend of non-EU countries".

Not only that: over the years, for some other foods it became mandatory – at least partial – transparency: carne sheep, goats, swine, chicken and beef; tomato; fresh fruit and vegetables; eggs; honey; extra virgin olive oil; fish. Now lIndication of the origin of the subjects it will extend to all packaged foods. As for the meat, also that of rabbit, therefore, but above all the processed meats, like hamburgers. Then cold meats, bread, preserves, fruit juices … The provenance of 'prevailing ingredient' it will be so largely unveiled. And a little more protected the Made in Italy agribusiness. The game is still open to fight theItalian Sounding, or the food that "plays Italian", produced by companies disguised in Italian, but which are not Italian. Source of diatribe with the same EU, theagropirateria and the counterfeiting of Made in Italy products are worth every year a turnover exceeding 60 billion euros each year (data from Coldiretti).

Carola Traverso Saibante
October 2017
updated February 2019


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