The FDA recently passed new regulation that makes it easier for consumers to understand nutritional information on food labels. While many small food manufacturing operations are exempt from these labeling requirements, they shouldn’t assume they have nothing to worry about. For instance, a product that makes any nutritional claims, such as “low-fat” or “gluten-free,” must adhere to FDA labeling regulations no matter how much is sold.
Fortunately, businesses with less than $10 million in food sales have until July 26, 2019 to update their labels. Those with more than $10 million must update them a year earlier.
Here’s an overview of changes:
- The declarations for the “calories,” “servings per container,” and the “serving size” are in larger type.
- Serving sizes have been updated to reflect what people actually consume. For example, the serving size for ice cream was previously ½ cup, now it’s ¾ cup.
- “Calories from Fat” has been removed because research shows the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount.
- “Added Sugars” in grams and as a percentage of daily value is now required. These include sugars that have been added during food processing or packaging. (The FDA reports that if you consume more than 10% of your daily calories from sugar, it will be difficult to stay within your calorie limits.)
- The list of nutrients has been updated:
- Vitamin D and potassium are now required because most don’t get the recommended amounts. The number of grams in addition to their percentage of daily value must be listed.
- The number of grams plus daily value percentage must also be listed for calcium and iron. For optional nutrients, showing the gram amounts is voluntary.
- Vitamins A and C are no longer included because deficiencies are now rare.
- There’s a new footnote: “The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”
- For products that are larger than a single serving, but that could be eaten in one sitting, the label must show two columns delineating nutrients per serving and nutrients per package.
Changes at a glance: At left is the old label design. See all the new label formats.
If you need help revising your labels to reflect new regulations, feel free to call us. We can guide you to experts who can make sure your labels are perfectly designed, provide the right labels for your product, and even print them at a value.