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Do you sell pre-packed foods? You need to be aware of new nutrition labelling regulations

New rules are kicking in on 13th December 2016.

Did you know that soon it’ll be mandatory to provide nutritional information on the labelling for most pre-packed foods? If you produce pre-packed foods in large quantities and aren’t already complying with the new regulations, you’ll need to make changes before 13th December.

Before you start reading this, it’s worth noting that one of the foods that are exempt from the new mandatory nutrition labelling is “food, including handcrafted food, directly supplied by the manufacturer of small quantities of products to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer”.

So if you are only producing pre-packed foods in small quantities and selling them to the end consumer, you don’t need to worry about the new regulations. For those producing larger quantities, please read on…

What do you need to put on nutrition labelling?

On your pre-packed food labelling you must now provide nutrient information per 100g or 100ml. You’ll need to list these nutrients in this particular order:

  • Energy (kJ, kcal)

  • Fat (g)

    • Of which saturates

  • Carbohydrate (g)

    • Of which sugars (g)

  • Protein (g)

  • Salt (g)

Example formats of nutrition labelling

If any of those nutrients aren’t present or are only present in negligible amounts you can mention them in a separate sentence (e.g. Fat, Saturates, Protein – negligible amount).

You must use a font sized at least 1.2mm, x-height and present the nutritional information in a table with numbers aligned (though you can use a linear format if you don’t have enough space for a table).

Declaring vitamins and minerals
Vitamin declaration example

Under the new regulations you’ll need to declare vitamins per 100ml as well as the percentage of Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) per 100ml.

You can also provide the information per portion if you’d like.

And in case you're wondering about Recommended Daily Amounts (RDAs), the term has now been replaced with NRVs.

Guideline Daily Amounts have gone!

The term ‘Reference Intakes’ (RIs) has now replaced GDAs. You can add %RIs to your labelling in the nutrition table per 100g/ml and/or per portion or consumption unit. Wherever you have listed %RIs, you’ll need to place this statement close by too: “Reference intake of an average adult (8400kJ/2000kcal)”.

If you are providing nutritional information per portion or per consumption unit, you’ll need to quantify the portions/consumption units near to nutrition declaration. Here’s an example of quantifying: 1.5L = 6 x 250ml servings.

Foods that are exempt from mandatory nutrition declaration
  • Unprocessed products that comprise a single ingredient

  • Processed products that have only been subjected to maturing and which comprise a single ingredient

  • Waters intended for human consumption (including flavoured and carbonated waters)

  • A herb, a spice or a mixture of the two

  • Salt and salt substitutes

  • Table top sweeteners

  • Products covered by Directive 1999/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 February 1999 relating to coffee extracts and chicory extracts (1), whole or milled coffee beans and whole or milled decaffeinated coffee beans

  • Food in packaging or containers whose largest surface area is less than 25cm2

  • Teas which do not contain added ingredients other than flavourings which don’t modify the nutritional value of the tea

  • Fermented vinegars and vinegar substitutes

  • Flavourings

  • Food additives

  • Processing aids

  • Food enzymes

  • Gelatine

  • Jam setting compounds

  • Yeast

  • Chewing gums

  • Food, including handcrafted food, directly supplied by the manufacturer of small quantities of products to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer

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