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Updated Nutrition Labels Proposed by the FDA

food-label-literacyThe FDA is planning to update nutrition labels to reflect current scientific information showing the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed changes to nutrition labeling would update the out-dated suggested serving sizes and highlight important parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.

Nutritional scientists are now recommending that we consume fewer calories from added sugar. As a result, updated labels will need to include information about “added sugars”, which are sugars added from outside sources such as syrups. Daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin D, used to calculate the Percent Daily Value listed on the label, have also been changed. Manufacturer’s now must list the amount of potassium and Vitamin D on the label in addition to the required calcium and iron content. Vitamins A and C can be included voluntarily.

Labeling information about Total Fat, Saturated Fat, and Trans Fat will continue to be required, but now the Calories from Fat item will be removed. Nutrition science has shown that the type of fat we consume is more important that the amount.

Another significant change on labels is the serving size requirements. The FDA wants serving size to reflect how people eat and drink today. As a result, packaged foods and drinks that are typically eaten in one sitting will be labeled as a single serving and calorie and nutrition information will be given for the entire package. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda, typically consumed in a single sitting, would be labeled as one serving rather than as more than one serving. The figure below shows an example of the existing label and the label reflecting the proposed updates:

Current_Label_notitle_NFL_3.24.14Proposed_Standard_NFL_2.13.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to nutritional information, the label itself will have new design that will make calories and serving sizes more prominent to emphasize parts of the label that are important in addressing current public health concerns. Notice that the calorie content and servings per container information is more prominent and easier to read.

For larger packages that could be consumed in multiple sittings, labels will have a dual column format to show both “per serving” and “per package” calories and nutrient information. The dual column format will help people understand how many calories and nutrients they are getting if they eat or drink the entire package at one time. The dual column format would look like this:

LABEL_REVISIONS_FINAL4_no_captionsThe proposed changes will affect all packaged foods except certain meat, poultry and processed egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The FDA has sent its new guidelines to the White House, but as of now they not sure when the new rules will be released.

When the new rules are final, you’ll need to update your labels in a hurry to remain compliant with the FDA labeling regulations. For help with your labels, or any other aspect of your labeling, marking, or coding, contact us. Call 888-438-3242 Option#3, or contact me directly at dholliday@idtechnology.com. We’ll get you in touch with one of our ID Technology specialists in your area.

 

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