How to Use Technology to Create FDA-Compliant Food Labels

While using an ingredient-database platform (like LabelCalc) can be an efficient way to create FDA-Compliant food labels, it can be confusing to understand how a system can replace a full-blow lab analysis. 20 years ago, had you wanted to bring a product to market, you would have to send your product sample to a lab and receive a comprehensive analysis, and for a hefty price tag may we add. But in 2021, as technology has evolved, there’s a much quicker way to get your hands on that food label that you need for your product (45 minutes to be exact) and it too is FDA-Compliant. But how can that be? In a nutshell, a ingredient database platform allows you to simply enter your recipe into the platform and it will compile the nutrition reports and format them into a FDA-approved label. Sounds simple enough right? But what the heck does that mean? Where are these values coming from? What file format does the label come in? Do I only get one? Is this the cheap route? Will I need to update my label through a lab later? Am I cutting corners…??

Year after year we receive these panicked questions from our potential clients, and for good reason! Recalls are terrifying, brand-damaging and expensive! For this reason it’s rare to find a manufacturer who is nonchalant about the labeling process. They want it done right, and that means FDA compliant. So for all of you who are wondering how it all really works, let’s break down these questions around ingredient database platform labeling and get you feeling confident in creating your FDA-Compliant food labels.

Where are the nutrient values coming from?

As a nutritionist who loves technology, this is one of my favorite questions to answer. Our platform is founded on a very important ingredient database that plays a huge role in our FDA-Compliance. Our ingredient database is sourced directly from the USDA ingredient database. That being said, when you are entering your product recipe ingredient in our ingredient database, you are actually matching your ingredients to the USDA’s entries for your ingredient. Then, by selecting the measurement quantity of each ingredient, the database can effectively assign a nutrient value to your products.

So, contrary to popular belief, you aren’t just typing in your ingredients into the platform and sending them out into the universe. You are actually matching your ingredients with reliable entries coming from a database that is backed by the USDA itself! So these calculations that the FDA is looking for to confirm your compliance are coming from their system. Pretty solid right?

What label formats do you have and are they FDA-Compliant?

LabelCalc has the latest 2020 formats that have been presented to the manufacturer as the compliant version for retail sale and consumer education. While COVID has prolonged some of these regulatory enforcements, the regulation will not be reverting back to former labels, so it’s important that you have the right one! We offer the 2020 standard vertical label and the 2020 Tabular & Linear for regular and small packaging. We do have the previous version of these labels if they were needed for any reason. Either way, you will be completely equipped with the proper formats to create FDA-compliant food labels.

How do I get my label? How many do I get?

Once the label has been created, it is ready for download and/or print in PDF, PNG & SVG formats. These files can instantly be sent to a co-packer for printing or printed directly from your computer if you prefer. And you can download as many as you like! No waiting, simply download and send to print.

What if I do something wrong? Will my label be at risk?

FDA-compliance is such a huge concern in manufacturing. The label template has to be correct, the ingredient statement has to be in a particular order and allergens must be cited if they are present within the recipe. However, entry errors can happen and it helps to have a set of professional eyes look over your label for it is finalized and sent to print. This is why we’ve launched Label Reviews in the last year. Once you have completed your ingredient entry, the team at LabelCalc will review your label for any errors and to ensure you are in compliance with FDA regulations. The LabelCalc team is comprised of degreed professionals and experts in the area of nutrition and FDA compliance with a combined history in the food industry of over 40 years!

While FDA-compliance is a concern, it can be accomplished by using technology in an efficient way. Need your FDA-compliant food labels completed soon? Just navigate to our pricing page and choose your plan. Code 10OFF for 10% off your purchase — on us!

 

What is LabelCalc?

LabelCalcⓇ is one of FoodCalc LLC’s two nutrition analysis products, created to help meet the needs of the food industry. Based in San Francisco, CA, we are a nationally recognized provider of online nutrition analysis that is fast, accurate, and FDA-compliant.

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