Nutrition Facts Labels
The Nutrition Facts table on a food label explains how much of your daily intake of a particular nutrient each food contains. It is a required feature on most prepackaged foods and certain non-prepackaged food products in Canada.
The contents and design of the Nutrition Facts table are prescribed by the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR). Using a standardized format improves a buyer’s ability to understand and compare products. Making informed decisions allows consumers to make healthier choices.
But how do you come up with the nutritional facts for your product?
The most accurate way is to measure the nutrient levels in a food through product sampling and laboratory analysis. This can be costly and time-consuming, but in some situations, it is the only way to get a compliant list of the nutrients in your food product.
Another option is to determine the nutrient values of a food indirectly by using other data sources including, for example, a nutritional database or ingredient-specific information from suppliers.
Nutritional Information databases contain thousands of ingredients and their components to help analyze your food product and provide the nutritional information in the format required by your governing agency. This is a fast, affordable option for a lot of food producers but not all foods can be analyzed this way.
Consult the Guide to Developing Accurate Nutrient Values for ideas on how best to calculate your food’s values and review the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Compliance Test for determining how the nutrition information is evaluated.
Once you have determined the nutritional values of your food product, how do you create your table?
The CFIA has clearly prescribed rules and guidelines for creating a comprehensive and consistent Nutrition Facts table for consumers to use. The Industry Labelling Tool provides several helpful resources including design templates, decision trees, and infographics to help businesses create their nutrition labels.
For the graphic and technical requirements associated with creating your Nutrition Facts table, IBC has put together a resource to support your package design and ensure you meet the FDR requirements.