Nutrition Labeling Basics for FDA-Compliance
Although we are a nutrition analysis and label creation platform that strives to make the creation of nutritional labels as simple as possible — we do understand that some of you may be new to labeling. If this is true about you, then we’re sure you agree that this process can seem a bit overwhelming. You may have asked yourself, what do I need to know to create a label? Do I need to send my nutritional label to the FDA for approval? What makes my product “FDA-Approved”? We have the answers to these and more in this nutrition labeling basics overview, as well as a chance to join in our Live Labeling Event so you can ask any remaining questions to our team.
Some of the questions we receive on a weekly basis, if not daily, center around FDA-compliance. While the FDA holds strict standards for nutritional labeling, the number one thing you need to know is that your label itself makes you compliant. You do not need to contact the FDA (unless you are outside of the United States and you are importing, but that’s a whole other article), you do not need to send in your product recipe or the formatted label into the FDA for approval. Your label must simply follow the regulations put into place by the FDA for proper food labeling. The easiest way you can do this is by utilizing a program that is up to standard with FDA regulations and has the rules for compliance built into the label formatting. So, if you’re reading this article, we’re happy to inform you that you have come to the right place to comply with nutrition labeling basics!
Accurate Nutrition Reporting
In order to be compliant, a food product must have a nutrition label that reflect the nutritional information contained within the product ingredients with complete accuracy and in the proper 2020 format. You do not need to utilize a lab or dietitian to get an accurate report. A simple, FDA-Approved method, is to utilize a comprehensive nutritional database (like the 300,000 + ingredient database that we provide) to analyze your product ingredients and account for your nutrient data accurately.
In the image above, nutrition information is accounted for in the required 2020 nutrition label format. The label must account for serving size, caloric value, macronutrient counts (such as fat, carbohydrate, fiber, and protein) as well as micronutrient counts (such as vitamins and minerals).
Ingredient & Allergen Statement
Your FDA-approved nutritional label must also be accompanied by a properly formatted ingredient statement. The ingredients must be listed in order of predominance in your recipe (largest to smallest). LabelCalc automatically lists your ingredients in descending order in compliance with FDA standards.
By law, the top 8 food allergens must be reflected on your nutritional label in an accompanying statement. LabelCalc’s allergen-flagging feature cites any and all allergens that are contained within your product recipe and automatically compiles them into an allergen statement, for the complete FDA-compliant labeling package. The allergens within your product recipe can be cited using the ingredients found within the extensive ingredient database or within personal ingredients that you have added from your own home-made items.
Resources & Live-Labeling Events
And those are the basics! However, we do realize that you may have a few remaining questions. For this reason, we’ve established “live labeling events” where you can observe ingredient entry, nutritional analysis and FDA-approved label creation while having the ability to ask any outstanding questions you may have! If you would like to join us on our events, please give our facebook page a “like” to receive notifications on upcoming events that you can join. These events take place weekly, typically Wednesdays and Fridays at 11AM PST.
In the meantime, feel free to read through our articles in our FDA RESOURCE CENTER for more information on everything you need to know on FDA-compliance, food label creation and even importing! And last but not least, create your first label FREE on us! Click here and choose “LabelCalc Lite” to create one FDA-approved nutrition panel FREE so you are all prepped to join us for our live event this week!