SGS Announces New Canadian Food Labeling Format for Nutrition Facts Panel and Ingredient Listing

On 13 June 2015 the Government of Canada announced a new nutrition labeling format.

Fairfield, NJ, July 31, 2015 –(PR.com)– Additionally, a sugar daily value has been established, potassium will be required to be listed, vitamin A and vitamin C will no longer be required, and a quick rule will be required at the end of the panel. Consultation period ends 27 August 2015.

Changes on Labeling Format of Nutrition Facts Panels (1) (2)

The Canadian government is proposing a number of changes:

– Increase the type size of the serving size and calories.
– Add a thick underline under calories.
– Change the order of the nutrients so those nutrients that provide calories are listed following calories.
– Add a daily value (DV) for sugars based on 100g.
– Make potassium a required nutrient to be listed.
– Remove the requirement for vitamin A and vitamin C to be listed.
– List sodium next to potassium.
– List the amounts for potassium, calcium and iron.
– Include (at the end of the nutrition facts panel) a DV quick rule explaining what is ‘a little’ and what is ‘a lot’.
– Make it easier to compare one item against another by altering serving sizes listed (e.g. since bread is typically consumed as 2 slices, all breads would be reported as 2 slices).

Changes on the nutrition fact panel are illustrated in the latest Safeguards bulletin (http://www.sgs.com/en/Our-Company/News-and-Media-Center/News-and-Press-Releases/2015/07/SafeGuardS-11615-Canada-Proposes-New-Nutrition-Facts-Panel-and-Ingredient-Listing.aspx).

Amendment to the Format of Ingredient Listings (3)

Ingredients will have to be listed on a white or neutral background utilizing black font with upper and lower case lettering. The ingredients would be enclosed in a hairline box. Each ingredient or ingredient grouping would be separated by a bullet. Sugars-based ingredients would be grouped. Food colors would be listed by name. Allergen statements or allergen precautionary statements would be included in the same ingredient hairline box.

Changes on the ingredient information are also illustrated in the above-mentioned Safeguards bulletin.

A fruit and vegetable health claim, such as “a healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of heart diseases,” would be allowed on pre-packaged fruits and vegetables.

The Canadian government is proposing a 5-year grace period before the new rules come into force to allow the industry enough time to make the necessary adjustments to their labels.

References:

1) Canada Gazette, Regulations amending the Food and Drug Regulations — nutrition labeling, other labeling provisions and food colors, June 2015 (http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2015/2015-06-13/html/reg1-eng.php)
2) Healthy Canadians, Canada Gazette – Part I consultation on proposed food label changes (http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/food-label-etiquette-des-aliments/process-processus-eng.php?_ga=1.191987498.1857117819.1414100709)
3) Healthy Canadians, Proposed food label changes to the list of ingredients (http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/food-label-etiquette-des-aliments/list-ingredient-liste-eng.php?_ga=1.226655133.1857117819.1414100709)

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS is committed to keeping readers informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging a global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including food label reviews (http://www.sgs.com/en/Consumer-Goods-Retail/Food/Processors-and-Suppliers/Testing-and-Analytical-Services/Food-Label-Reviews-and-Nutritional-Analysis.aspx), analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. SGS continually invests in world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help clients reduce risks and improve food safety and quality.

For further information, please contact an SGS expert.

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Food Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager
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