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© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Georgine Leung Food labelling update
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Background Information is provided on the packaging of food and drink products to help consumers choose between different products, brands and flavours. There is a legal requirement to provide some information on food labels. The laws regarding food labelling that apply in the UK are based on the European Union’s (EU) community legislation.
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 The information required by law on food labels includes: The name of the food or drink Weight or volume Ingredient list Genetically modified (GM) ingredients Date mark and storage conditions Preparation instructions Name and address of manufacturer, packer or seller Place of origin Lot or batch number
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 New Food Information Regulation (FIR) This was published by the European Union in 2011 and was designed to make food labelling easier to understand for consumers. The regulation combines rules on general food and nutrition labelling into a single EU regulation. Most requirements will not apply until 2014, with nutrition labelling becoming compulsory in lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:00 18:0063:EN:PDF
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Country of origin –the introduction of mandatory origin information for most fresh and frozen meat. The origin of main ingredients will have to be given if different from where the final product is made. Nutrition labelling will be required for most foods. Simplified information may be provided voluntarily on front of pack. A minimum font size has been set for all mandatory information on most food labels. lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:00 18:0063:EN:PDF
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Allergen information will have to be provided on all food. For prepacked foods, the allergens will have to be highlighted on the ingredient list. Drinks with high caffeine content will have to be additionally labelled. Meat and fish products that look like a cut, joint or slice and contain more than 5% added water will have to show this in the name of the food. The types of vegetable oil used in food must be stated. lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:00 18:0063:EN:PDF
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 The EU has also agreed: To make it easier for alcoholic drinks companies to voluntarily include calorie information on product labels. To enable voluntary provision of calorie information in out of home settings. To continue to permit selling by numbers – such as a dozen bread rolls or eggs. lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:00 18:0063:EN:PDF
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Nutrition information At the moment, foods and drinks do not have to provide nutrition information on pack (unless they make a nutrition or health claim about the product). Where information is given, some rules have to be followed. However, provision of information will become compulsory in the near future and there will be some small changes to the format required. lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:00 18:0063:EN:PDF
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 The current rules specify the nutrients that can be included. The information has to be presented per 100g/ml, but could also be provided per portion. Further information can be added to labels such as the amounts of polyunsaturates, monounsaturates, starch, cholesterol, vitamins or minerals. Format 1: ‘Big 4’ Energy(kJ and kcal) Protein (g) Carbohydrate (g) Fat (g) Format 2: ‘Big 4 and Little 4’ Energy (kJ and kcal) Protein(g) Carbohydrate(g) of which sugars(g) Fat(g) of which saturates(g) Fibre(g) Sodium(g)
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Current back of pack nutrition panel New back of pack nutrition panel
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Front-of-pack labelling Most of the major supermarkets and many food manufacturers choose to display nutritional information on the front of prepackaged food and drinks. There are two major schemes for front-of-pack labelling in place: traffic light labelling and Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) labels. Some packs may use a combination of the two.
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Front-of-pack labelling GDA labels include the Guideline Daily Amount for certain nutrients and the percentage (%) GDA provided by 100g or 1 portion. This can be used to compare products and to choose the one which best suits the consumer, e.g. finding the one with the lowest salt content.
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Front-of-pack labelling Traffic light labels on the front of pack provide information on high ( red ), medium ( amber ) or low ( green ) amounts of sugars, fat, saturated fat and salt present in the product, expressed per 100g/ml of the food/drink. This front-of-pack labelling scheme was developed by the Food Standards Agency to give an at-a-glance indication of whether a food is a healthier choice. SugarsFatSaturatesSalt What is high per 100g Over 15gOver 20gOver 5gOver 1.5g What is medium per 100g Between 5g and 15g Between 3g and 20g Between 1.5g and 5g Between 0.3g and 1.5g What is low per 100g 5g and below 3g and below 1.5g and below 0.3g and below
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 Nutrition and health claims A nutrition claim describes what a food contains (or does not contain) or contains in reduced or increased amounts. Examples include: Low fat (less than 3g of fat per 100g food); High fibre (at least more than 6g of fibre per 100g food); Source of vitamin C (at least 15% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C).
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 A health claim may be featured on the packaging if a food or one of its ingredients has been agreed by experts to provide additional health benefits. Examples of health claims include: Calcium is important for normal growth and development of bones in children. Beta-glucans from oats help to reduce blood cholesterol. Xylitol in some sugar-free chewing gum helps neutralise plaque acids.
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 The use of nutrition claims and health claims in the UK is controlled by European regulations. A list of the approved health claims can be found at:
© BRITISH NUTRITION FOUNDATION 2012 British Nutrition Foundation High Holborn House High Holborn London WC1V 6RQ Telephone: Fax: Web :
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