Food Labelling June 2003
Outline • What influences food labels • Legislation • Practical considerations • The future
Legislation (UK & EU) Enforcers Consumers Manufacturers & retailers Voluntary recommendations & bodies Media National structures & guidance Influences on food labelling
Legislation • Food Labelling Regulations 1996 • Other legislation • The Food Safety Act 1990 • Trade Description Act 1968 • Weights & Measures Act 1985 • Specific legislation covering some foods • e.g. bread, jam, chocolate, milk
What must be on a label? • name of food • list of ingredients (in descending order) • QUID information (if needed) • net quantity of food present (unless under 5g) • date mark (use by and best before) • any special conditions or conditions of use • name & address of manufacturer, packager or seller • place of origin (if leaving out would mislead) • any necessary instructions foruse
What is QUID? • If an ingredient in the description of the product or is featured in a pack shot then the quantity of the ingredient must be declared as a percentage. • This is required as part of EU labelling law, and known as Quantitative Ingredient Declaration (QUID).
Other information • information on additives & other ingredients not legally required to be labelled • nutrients present in food • nutrition &/or health claims • information on allergens present in food • processing or production methods (e.g. organic) • logos & endorsements • guideline daily amounts
Labelling jargon • RDA- Recommended Daily Amount • part of EU directive on Nutrition Labelling • estimates of the amount of vitamins & minerals needed to meet or more than meet the needs of a group of adults • GDAs - Guideline Daily Amounts
Nutrition Labelling • not mandatory unless a nutrition claim is made • must be in 1 of 2 formats • Group 1 declaration • energy, protein, carbohydrate and fat • Group 2 declaration • as above plus sugars, saturates, fibre and sodium
Nutrition Labelling • In addition, these nutrients can be included in a nutrient declaration on a voluntary basis: • starch • monounsaturates, polyunsaturates or cholesterol • specified vitamins and nutrients present in significant amounts • If a claim is made about these nutrients they MUST be labelled
Nutrition Labelling Voluntary information Prescribed format Derived from Estimated Average Requirements for energy
Nutrition Claims • Any representation, other than the nutrition labelling, that states or implies that a food contains, or has a high or low amount of one or more nutrients is a nutrition claim • If a nutrition claim is made, nutrition labelling is mandatory
Nutrition Claims • Nutrient (or content) claims • refers to the level of a nutrient in a food e.g. source of calcium • Comparative claims • comparison of nutrient levels of 2 or more foods, using descriptors such as ‘higher’ or ‘lower’, e.g. contains % more calcium
Nutrition Claims • Nutrient function claims • refers to physiological role of nutrient in its relationship to growth, development or other normal functions e.g.aids in the development of strong bones & teeth • Medical claims are illegal e.g. prevents osteoporosis
New EU Proposal on Claims • Will define many nutrient claims • low fat • light/lite (reduced by 25%) • Will prohibit some claims • ‘% fat free’ claims • use of the term ‘diet’
Practical Considerations • Space - priority of information?
Practical Considerations • Space • priority of information? • Legibility • Font size & colour • Colour • avoidredandgreen combinations
The Future • Legislation for health claims • Other ways to share detailed information about the foods we buy Examples: • bar codes • internet • Foods with no labels? What will happen?
Further Information • British Nutrition Foundation www.nutrition.org.uk • Food Standards Agency www.food.gov.uk • Institute of Grocery Distribution www.igd.com • Sainsbury’s Taste of Success www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/tasteofsuccess