It was the 1990s and the biggest topic in food packaging was the newly-introduced requirement that a Nutrition Label appear on all packaging. Consumers, at first skeptical, now rely on this tiny but essential part of virtually all food packaging to help them make the choices that are right for them and their families.
Now, the Nutrition Label is about to become even more informative and play an even larger role in communicating the values of the product contained within the package you are sending to market. The status quo is likely going to change... for the better... so if you are a food manufacturer or packager, the following highlights will help you understand what you will need to do in the near future. A link to the FDA site about this topic follows at the conclusion of this blog. Of course, we’re here to help you, too!
The FDA’s proposed new Nutrition Facts label aims to make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about the food they eat. Among the changes being considered, modifications to the required nutrients based on the latest nutrition science, updated serving size requirements and labeling requirements for certain package sizes, and a refreshed design. Here is a quick overview of some topics you might need to know:
The FDA Wants Consumers to Have A Greater At-A-Glance Understanding of The Nutrition Contained In Your Products
The new labeling would require information about “added sugars.” This is in response to data from many experts who recommend consuming fewer calories from added sugar because it can decrease the intake of nutrient-rich foods while increasing calorie intake. Updated information will also include revised daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. Daily values are used to calculate the Percent Daily Value listed on the label, which help consumers understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet.
Manufacturers will be required to declare the amount of potassium and Vitamin D on the label, because they are new “nutrients of public health significance.” Calcium and iron would continue to be required, and Vitamins A and C could be included on a voluntary basis.
“Calories from Fat” would be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount. Continuing to be required are “Total Fat” and “Saturated Fat,” with the new addition of “Trans Fat” to the label.
The Serving Size Requirements for Certain Package Sizes Will Change
To better and more accurately reflect the quantities people are currently eating and drinking, the new serving size label information must be based on what people actually eat, not on what they should be eating.
There are some important distinctions that must be made in providing this information in relation to the overall size of the package. For example, packages of food, including drinks, that are typically completely eaten by an individual in one sitting must be labeled as a single serving and the total calorie and nutrient information be declared for the entire package. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda, typically consumed by a person in a single sitting, would be labeled as one serving rather than as more than one serving and its total caloric and nutritional information will need to be included as well.
Certain packages bridge the gap between being consumable in one serving or perhaps consumed in multiple servings (again, based on current consumption habits). For packages that fit this definition, manufacturers would have to provide “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calories and nutrient information. Examples include a 24-ounce bottle of soda or a pint of ice cream. This change is designed to make it easier for people to understand the quantity of calories and amount of nutrients they are getting if they eat or drink either the entire package or a portion of it.
Critical Information Presented In A Refreshed Design
The proposed changes to calories and serving sizes aim to make this information more prominent, place emphasis on these parts of the label and underscore their key role in addressing ongoing public health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The Percent Daily Value will shift to the left of the label thereby placing it first in order of importance to the consumer. This is key because the Percent Daily Value communicates precisely the quantity of certain nutrients you will receive from a particular food in the context of a total daily diet. Even the definition of the Percent Daily Value is receiving an update. It will be footnoted and explained in a more concise, easier-to-understand fashion.
For more information, visit the FDA link below... Or simply leave a question in the comment section below.
Here’s A Link To Access The FDA Site Comparing The Original Labeling Requirements To The Proposed New Requirements