The FDA Nutrition Facts Label – Old vs New FDA Food Labels and Changes

The FDA Nutrition Facts Label – Old vs New FDA Food Labels and Changes


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Hi I’m Emily, the Registered Dietitian for RL Food Testing. The New Nutrition Facts Label is here. The FDA has issued their final regulations
for the updated Nutrition Label. These are the biggest changes to come to the
label since their origin some twenty-five years ago. Now, a lot has changed and I want to walk
you through those changes. But first, here are the top two things you
need to know. One: these changes to the nutrition label
may impact how your food product’s nutrition appears to consumers; as a result, you may
want to consider marketing changes or even reformulations if you feel the new label may
affect those messages. Two: do not put this off, get going on it
now. It may take your company longer than you think
to make the switch and the sooner you have the new label on the shelves, the better. This change was consumer driven and they are
antsy to have it in their hands; as a result, retailers will be anxious to get it on their
shelves. Let’s take a look at the detailed changes
and how they affect your food product. Probably the most obvious of the changes is
the redesign of the label to focus more on calories and servings per container. This includes a larger font size for calories
as well as a more prominent placement. The RACCs or recommended serving sizes have
also been updated to reflect a more realistic representation of what we are eating in one
sitting. For example, a serving of ice cream will now
be listed as two-thirds cup instead of half a cup. Therefore, a pint of ice cream will now be
declared as three servings per container instead of four. The Daily Values, or DVs, have been updated,
some of these include DVs for sodium and fiber. Daily Values are the nutrient reference values
based on age groups, that we use to calculate the percent DV that is shown on nutrition
labels. Sugars that do not occur naturally in food
but are added by the manufacturer must now be declared under Added Sugars, which has
been added as a required nutrient. A percent DV of 50g has been established for
adults, and a list for added sugars has been provided by the FDA. Calories from Fat and Other Carbohydrates
have been removed from the label. Dietary Fiber has been defined as a non-digestible
carbohydrate and fibers that are beneficial to human health may be reported on the label. Vitamins A and C are no longer required, and
have been replaced with Vitamin D and Potassium. Twenty-five years ago, public consumption
of Vitamins A and C were found to be inadequate. Recent studies show they are no longer of
concern, but Vitamin D and Potassium are. As such, these new guidelines for nutrient
reporting reflect more current data. The foot note table has been removed and a
statement has been added to explain what DVs mean. Finally, a dual column label will be required
for some packages. Products requiring this dual label include:
One, a product that needs further preparation, like a dry cake mix or pasta. Two, a product commonly combined with other
ingredients like adding cereal to milk. Three, a product needing to show the percent
DV for two different RDI’s, for example both a child and an adult. Four, a product that has two serving sizes,
therefore will need to show nutrition information for both. Five, a product that has two to three servings
are now required to use the Dual Column label to show nutrition information for a single
serving and for the whole container. The FDA’s examples are a 24-ounce bottle of
soda or a pint of ice cream. Six, of note, a product that is packaged and
sold individually and contains less than two servings is now to be labeled as a single
serving. Previously, for packages that contained less
than two servings you could list “About 2 Servings” now it must be listed as 1 serving
per container. The compliance date is July 26th, 2018. However, food manufacturers with less than
$10 million in annual food sales will have one additional year to comply. So, what does all this mean for your food
product? Many of these changes may impact how your
food product’s nutrition will appear to consumers. For example, a larger serving size may increase
your calories displayed, while the new fiber definitions may lower your fiber declaration,
and the new added sugars declaration may highlight undesired nutrients. Food manufacturers may want to reformulate
some of their products to better position how their products will appear to consumers. Finally, detailed record keeping will now
be required for certain nutrients. Because there are no analytical methods currently
available for some of these, for example Added Sugars or Dietary Fiber, the FDA is requiring
records to be kept by the manufacturer for at least two years. So what should you be doing now? Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes a food
manufacturer can make is to wait. Whether you are an existing RL Food Testing
customer or new to our family, get started right now and give us a call. We will take a look at your food product and
be able to tell you how these new changes will affect your labeling the most. This is a really exciting time for all of
us in the food business and maybe a little scary too. We at RL Food Testing want to help our customers
navigate these changes with ease. You can visit our website for more information
and feel free to give us a call too. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks so much for listening!
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5 thoughts on “The FDA Nutrition Facts Label – Old vs New FDA Food Labels and Changes

  1. Thanks for this info, Emily. These changes will be helpful to the average consumer. I especially like that the serving size will be indicative of what is actually a serving. Lindy Ford, RD, LDN

  2. The fat types in grams never equal the total fat grams why is this? What are the remaining missing grams of fat

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