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NUTRITION LABELLING, VITAMINS AND MINERAL CLAIMS

This leaflet has been prepared for the guidance of traders by the Northern Counties Chief Trading Standards Officers Group. It is not an authoritative document on the law and is only intended for guidance. 

 

WHAT DOES THIS LEAFLET COVER?

This leaflet is intended to give basic information to food manufacturers, and other interested parties, on nutrition labelling and vitamin and mineral claims. It is not a full interpretation of the law and this can only be obtained by studying European Community Council Directive No 90.496/EEC and The Food Labelling Regulations 1996.

 

WHAT ARE NUTRITION LABELLING AND VITAMIN AND MINERAL CLAIMS?

Nutrition labelling means any information on labelling relating to energy value (calories) and protein, carbohydrates, fat, fibre or sodium. Vitamin and mineral claims relate to numerous vitamins and minerals laid down in the Directive and The Food Labelling Regulations 1996, e.g. Rich in Vitamin C.

 

IS IT COMPULSORY?

Nutrition labelling is not compulsory. However, if food manufacturers decide to label food with nutrition information, or make nutrition claims, it then becomes compulsory to use the prescribed format.

If vitamin or mineral claims are made, they must comply with the recommended daily amounts (RDA) laid down in The Food Labelling Regulations 1996.

 

THE APPROVED FORMATS

Where nutrition labelling is provided, the information should consist of either of the following (in the stated order). Additional labelling rules apply where the amounts of starch, polyols, mono-unsaturates, polyunsaturates or cholesterol are stated.

 

GROUP 1
Energy value

Protein

Carbohydrates

Fat

Kj/kcal

grams or g

grams or g

grams or g

 

GROUP 2

Voluntary, but compulsory where a claim about
sugars, saturates, fibres or sodium is made.
This group is known as the Big Eight within the food industry.

Energy value

Protein

Carbohydrates
of which:
Sugars

Fat
of which:
Saturates

Fibre

Sodium

KJ/kcal

grams or g

grams or g

grams or g

grams or g

grams or g

grams or g

grams or g

Information for both groups must be given in the form of per 100 grams or 100 millilitres. Provided the total number of servings contained in a sales unit of good is stated, the amount per quantified serving can also be given.

The amounts stated must be those of the food as sold. However, the information may relate to the foodstuff after preparation, provided that sufficiently detailed preparation instructions are given and the information relates to the food as prepared for consumption.

 

VITAMIN AND MINERAL CLAIMS

Only claims for vitamins and minerals stated in the Directive and The Food Labelling Regulations are allowed.

Where such claims are made, they must be expressed as a percentage of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). The RDA is laid down in The Food Labelling Regulations.

 

HOW IS NUTRITION INFORMATION CALCULATED

This information can be based on:

 

WHERE MUST THE NUTRITION INFORMATION BE GIVEN?

It must be presented in one place in tabular form, with the numbers aligned (if space permits). It must be printed in legible and indelible characters in a conspicuous place, and in a language easily understood by the purchaser.

 

FINAL ADVICE

If you wish any of your labels to be checked to ensure the wording complies with the requirements for nutrition labelling, or other trading standards matters such as food labelling and weights and measures labelling, please contact your local Trading Standards Department.

 

October 2000


North Yorkshire County Council

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