Nutrient density is the measure of the amount of beneficial nutrients in a food product in proportion to it's energy content, weight or amount of detrimental nutrients. It is a way of evaluating the nutritional quality of a food by comparing the amount of nutrients consumed in a bite a meal or day.
A 'nutrient dense' food supplies significant amounts of one or more nutrients compared to the number of calories it has. Eggs, for example, have a high nutrient density, because they provide protein and many vitamins and minerals in proportion their calories. So an egg is considered to be 'nutrient dense'
Nutrient Density in Action
Examples from around the world
Health Canada's Surveillance Tool
"A nutrient profiling model developed to evaluate adherence of food choices to dietary recommendations."
Pan American Health Organization
"The purpose of nutrient profiling is to provide a tool to classify food and drink products that are in excess of free sugars, salt, total fat, saturated fat and trans-fatty acids."
"The model generates a final single score which determines whether the food can be advertised to children. Two threshold levels were set: one threshold for all food products and another for beverages."
UK Office of Communications
"Nutri-Score (also called 5-Colour Nutrition Label) is an easy-to-understand, science-based nutritional value labelling system for foodstuff and beverages."
Food Standards Australia New Zealand
"We use the best available scientific evidence to develop food standards. This work underpins our ability to protect the public health and safety of consumers."
Regional Nutrient Profile Model
"Nutrient profiling s a scientific method for assessing the nutritional quality of food and beverage items. It can be used by national authorities to promote public health dietary goals."