What You Need to Know
In May 2016 the FDA published new rules for the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. The new rules reflect new scientific information that links consumers diet to chronic diseases. The new rules will change the information on the Nutrition Facts label allowing consumers to make better informed food choices.
Even though the new rules and changes were published in 2016, the FDA gave manufactures dates of when theses changes need to be completed by. As 2020 approaches some of those dates are getting closer and manufactures need to be aware that by these indicated dates the new Nutrition Facts label needs to be updated on their products.
What are the Changes
The overall look of the Nutrition Facts label is remaining the same but there are some important updates to be aware of. These changes include:
- Increase type size for “Calories,” “serving per container,” and “Serving size” declaration.
- Bolding the number of calories and the “Serving size” declaration.
- Declaring the actual amount, in addition to percent Daily Value of Vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium.
- The footnote is changing and should now read: “*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”
- “Added sugars” should now include the amount in grams and in percent daily value.
- The list of nutrients is changing to Vitamin D, potassium, calcium and iron.
- Vitamin A and C are no longer required but if manufactures wish to list more nutrients, they can include more then just the four required.
- “Total fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat” are still required but the “Calories from Fat” is being removed.
- Daily values of nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D are being updated based on new scientific evidence.
- Serving sizes are being updated because they have changed since the last serving size requirements were published.
- Packaging that is between one and two servings will be required to be labeled as one serving.
- Certain products that are require a “dual column” if they are larger than one serving but could be consumed in one serving or multiple servings The “dual column” will indicated the amount of calories and nutrients on both a “per serving” and “per package”/”per unit” basis.
Why the Change
The current Nutrition Facts label is more then 20 years old. The last requirements were published in 1993. Based on updated scientific research, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups and input from the public, the FDA has updated the requirements. The updates will give consumers access to more recent and accurate nutritional information about the foods they are eating.
Dates to know
The Following dates were set by the FDA. Manufactures have until theses dates to comply.
- January 1, 2020: Manufactures with $10 million or more in annual sales
- July 1, 2021: Manufactures of certain flavored dried cranberries
- January 1, 2021: Manufactures with less than $10 million in annual sales
- July 1, 2021: Manufactures of most single-ingredient sugars such as honey, maple syrup and certain cranberry products
How to Get Your Product Tested to Ensure Proper Changes are Made
If you would like more information on the new Nutrition Facts label rules, visit the FDA website. Make sure that you have the right information on your products Nutrition Facts label by getting a sample of your product tested at an FDA certified laboratory. The names and locations of appropriate laboratories can be found in publications such as, Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC), the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS), and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and other numerous trade journals and similar publications. Michigan State University has laboratories with the capability of testing food to get the information needed for Nutrition Facts labels.