Module Number: 13. Food Labelling. Introduction. Information is provided on food packaging of to help us choose between different foods, brands and flavours. There is a legal requirement for much of the information that is provided.
Name of food
Place of origin
Storage / Preparation instructions
Name and address
The name of the food must be clearly stated. Some foods have made-up names, which give no information about what is in them or how they have been processed. In such cases, a description of the food must be given so that it is neither ambiguous nor misleading.
If the food has been processed in some way, the process must be included in the title, e.g. dried apricots, salted peanuts and smoked mackerel.
The name must also describe the differences between apparently similar products. For example, a ‘fruit yogurt’ must be flavoured using real fruit, whereas a ‘fruit flavoured yogurt’ can be flavoured using artificial flavourings.
Further optional information can be added, unless a claim is made, on the amounts of other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals (if they are present in significant amounts).
The amount of vitamins and minerals in a food are given as a percentage of the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA).
RDAs are estimates of the amount of vitamins and minerals sufficient to meet or more than meet the needs of groups of adults rather than individuals. RDA values are part of EU food law and reflect the variation in opinion across Europe. There is only one figure for each nutrient, derived from figures for adults, rather than a range of figures that vary with age, sex and physiological status as exists for UK Reference Nutrient Intakes or RNIs.
In the UK, some pre-packaged foods also provide information about guideline daily amounts (GDAs).
GDAs are derived from the Estimated Average Requirements for energy for men and women aged between 19-50, of normal weight and fitness (2500kcal and 2000kcal respectively).
GDAs are intended as guidance to help consumers in their understanding of their recommended daily consumption of energy (calories), fat and saturates and a base against which the content of individual foods can be compared.