What is the health star rating based on?

What is the health star rating based on?

Lemon Leaf products display a star rating in front of their packaging that can be rated from half to five stars. The back label displays additional nutrient content including saturated fat, sugars, and protein. But what is the star rating? How do I read it?

star rating

The Health Star Rating (HSR) is a front-of-packaging system that rates food & beverages based on their nutritional values. It can be easily used to compare products in the same category to assess which one is the healthiest option. The higher the score (maximum of 5) the healthier the product. For example, you can check the Lemon Leaf lasagnes and compare them with other lasagnes from your food store.

The HSR system was established in 2014 in Australia & New Zealand and is a voluntary program, thus may not be adopted by some food companies. However, a growing number of consumers appreciate to have this information to guide their food choices.

How are the products rated?

The calculation considers nutrients that are known to increase the risk of developing some diseases such as salt that can cause hypertension, and saturated fat that is linked to cardiovascular diseases.

The rates are based on:

  • total energy (kilojoules): scores are higher for low energy dense foods.

  • saturated fat, sodium (salt) and sugar content: scores are higher for foods with low amounts of these components.

  • fibre, protein, fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content: scores are higher for foods containing these ingredients.

In addition, Lemon Leaf labels include the protein content which is one of our “positive nutrient” (among many others) that consumers should be aware of. The figures are all based on the suggested portion size for each product.

For further nutrition information, refer to the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) displayed on the back of the packaging. NIP provides the content of other nutrients, and the list of ingredients and allergen, to assist you to make food choices that are best for you.  

HSR of Lemon Leaf products:


Classic Meat: HSR 3.5

Plant-based Meat: HSR 3.5

Vegetable & Ricotta: HSR 4

Plant-based Vegetable: HSR 4


Vegetarian & Vegan Country: HSR 3.5

Creamy Chicken & Mushroom: HSR 3.5

Vegan Chicken & Mushroom: HSR 3.5

Chunky Beef, Wine & Mushroom: HSR 3


Vegan Spinach & Cheese: HSR 2.5

Vegan Sausage: HSR 2.5

 Traditional Sausage: HSR 2

Protein Balls

Chocolate & Hazelnuts: HSR 5

Pistachio & Hemp: HSR 4.5

Beetroot Delight: HSR 4.5

Carrot Bliss: HSR 4


Written by: Elaine Barritt, Registered Nutritionist & Lemon Leaf Co-founder
The Health Star Health System. Commonwealth of Australia http://www.healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/Content/Home