Maybe you’re reading this and you’re an established food entrepreneur, or perhaps you just have a new recipe that your family believes would make an excellent addition to the shelves of your local grocery store. Either way, in order to get your recipe onto a retail shelf, you need a nutrition label.
If you’re new to creating food products, hearing things like FDA-compliant , nutrition analysis and food manufacturing might sound a little daunting. But have no fear, each of these terms are simpler than you think and play into your food product’s journey to reaching the local grocery store.
The Food and Drug Administration
….Or in short, the FDA. You may have heard of them before when reading about how a product was recalled for an E.Coli breakout or a that a statement was (or was not) backed by the FDA on one of your supplement labels. The FDA is government agency that is responsible for regulating the foods that are brought into the United States, to enforce accuracy of nutrition information provided on nutrition labels and to product public health in regards to all things food and beverage.
How this Pertains to You
So you have a new recipe that you’re proud of, or perhaps an old one that’s been passed down for generations that you know would be a welcomed addition on more than just your family’s dinner table? When your recipe reaches the point where it’s going public, that’s when the FDA‘s regulations begin to matter, and when you should begin to be concerned about becoming FDA-compliant.
But what does that even mean?
Becoming FDA-compliant simply means that you are complying with the rules and regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration pertaining to the creation and sale of food products. And all of this can be wrapped up in the proper labeling of your product recipe to prepare it for retail, namely, your nutrition facts panel.
You know that label on the back of all retail food items that gives the nutritional values for that product? That’s what’s called a nutrition facts panel, and it is the first and last step to making sure that you are FDA-compliant and ready for retail. A grocery store won’t display your product without it. And the FDA won’t allow your product to stay on a grocery store shelf if it isn’t accurate, and trust us, they check.
When it comes to creating a nutrition facts panel for your food product, the FDA is very clear on what they require:
- Serving size
- Number of servings per container
- Complete nutrition information ( calories, total fat, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals)
- Ingredient List
- Allergen Statement
And this data is all derived from a nutritional analysis that can be provided through FDA-compliant software like LabelCalc. The wonderful thing about using an all-inclusive program like LabelCalc is that it will not only provide you with the items listed above, (along with a completed nutrition facts panel) but also a complete report to provide the FDA if ever called upon to provide the nutrition data of your food product recipe. It’s FDA-compliance in one easy step!
The Importance of an Accurate & Compliant Label
When you take the time to create nutrition fact labels for your product recipes, it is of the utmost importance that the nutrition information is accurate on your nutrition label and that the accompanying ingredient list and allergen statements are correct as well. This is what matters to the FDA. If their only interest is the protection of public health, then the information presented to the public must be up to par. The FDA does not hesitate in checking into even the smallest of retail orders.
What you must remember, is that the simplest changes, such as the difference of a single ingredient, will change the nutrition data of a product. This will require a new label and nutrition report to have on file for the FDA to review upon request. Keep this in mind when you are changing brands that provide the items on your ingredient list. These minute details matter in data reporting and are worth every penny to protect against a product recall.
If an FDA-compliant nutrition facts panel is the door that will lead you to a retail shelf, a non-compliant nutrition facts panel will remove you from one. And with the average product recall costing food entrepreneurs an average of $10 million, a few hundred bucks to make sure you’re compliant, is a drop in the bucket. Do it right the first time. Think about FDA-compliant nutrition labeling as an investment in your own success, because the future of your recipe depends on it.
Are you sure your nutrition label is accurate? Want some help? LabelCalc is the industry leading nutrition analysis and food label creator in the industry. Contact us for a label review today!