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Domenick Celentano

FDA Proposed Changes to Nutrition Facts Label

By January 24, 2014

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The FDA is planning to update the Nutrition Facts label based on the latest science-based nutrition recommendations.

Paula Trumbo, Ph.D., acting director of FDA's nutrition programs staff explains that updates are being assessed to address such factors as current nutrient recommendations, public health concerns based on recent data on food consumption, and the agency's desire to make this information as clear and useful as possible.

The updates are still being formulated. Public input will be sought when they are proposed.

Why the Update?

FDA Nutrition Facts Label Color CodedAs you can see from the graphic here, (click image for a larger view) the FDA has color coded each section so you can understand the label format. Now without the color coding, how would most consumers now the "Limit these Nutrients" and "Get Enough of these Nutrients"? They wouldn't.. additionally do you know the grams to ounces conversion? Unless you are food technologist, you wouldn't know... 1oz = 28.350 grams... so as you can see from this label, Total Fat of 12 grams is about .5 oz.

How Can You Take Advantage of the Proposed FDA Nutrition Label Changes?

Here are ideas from easy to implement through product reformulation.

  • You should monitor this by signing up for the FDA Consumer Updates Email.
  • Go through label to see if your product has distinct advantages in the Get Enough of these Nutrients section. If so, consider updating your packaging to highlight these... but do it in a simple, easy to read manner. Use your social media channels to spread the word to your brand fans... they probably are not aware and maybe develop a contest to give them an incentive to share this with their friends. How about posting your Nutrition Label on Pinterest, highlighting the good stuff.
  • Go through label to see if your product has too many "Limit these Nutrients". If so, consider going back to product development to reduce these nutrients (sometimes called Nutrients of Concern). Be careful that you don't focus so tightly here and ruin your flavor profile.

Further Reading

Nutrition Facts for Food - How to make a nutrition information label


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