The food manufacturing industry has been bombarded with new and proposed labeling regulatory changes in the United States, Canada, and European Union. And, as luck would have it, none of the labels are interchangeable.
The European Union Commission recently reworked the nutrition label for more clarity to the consumer. These new regulations have been in effect since December 2014.
Key changes include the following:
Mandatory Nutrient Declarations
- Nutrition labeling must include these nutrients in the following order:
Energy, Fat, Saturated Fat, Carbohydrate, Sugar, Protein, Salt
- Other nutrients must be declared if a nutrition or health claim is made
- Reported nutrients should be expressed as 100g or 100 ml
- The Energy value must be listed in both kJ (kilojoules) and kcal (kilocalories)
- The salt value must be calculated using the formula: [sodium (g) x 2.5]
Mandatory Information Size
- Mandatory information must be displayed in a 1.2 mm font size (this is approximately 8 point Times New Roman) for packages of standard size. For small packages (less than 80 cm2), the font size can be 0.9 mm.
- Allergens are now declared within the list of ingredients and must be somehow highlighted. This can be accomplished by using a bold font or different color.
- Example, where milk is the allergen: Light Whipping Cream (milk)
Vegetable origin of oils and fats must be indicated in the list of ingredients.
These and other changes are now applicable, but labeling for most pre-packaged food isn't mandatory until December 2016.
We have incorporated the new regulations in our EU labeling module. As always, we will continue to monitor the European Commission regulations and implement any changes, as they occur, into the EU Label Module for our Genesis R&D Food Analysis and Labeling Software.