When Americans are looking at which products to buy, they will sometimes make a snap decision based on the nutrient content claims readily available on the packaging. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has specific requirements for what products are able to claim based on their nutritional content. In this article, we will focus on “protein”, a nutrient that people are always trying to eat more of.
Protein is one of three macronutrients in food that provides energy for the body, the other two being fat and carbohydrates. Protein is particularly important in muscle growth and development. Protein can be found in food from plants and animals including the following:
Beans and peas
Grains and vegetables (these generally provide less protein than is found in other sources)
Meats and poultry
Nuts and seeds
Seafood (fish and shellfish)
Food manufacturers are not required to list the % DV of protein per serving on their nutrition facts label unless they are making a nutrient content claim.
Before making any nutrient content claims, it’s important to understand what the nutrient content claims are based on. Most of the claims you are going to be making in regards to protein, are based on the Daily Value (DV) and the Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACCs). You can learn more about RACCs here.
In order for a food to be “High” in protein, the food must contain 20% or more of the recommended DV per RACC. The DV for protein is 50g, so the RACC of the food must contain over 10g of protein to have the “High in Protein” nutrient content claim.
To have a nutrient content claim of a food being a “Good Source of Protein” the food must contain 10-19% of the DV per RACC, or 5 to 9.5g of protein per RACC.
If you would like to have your food product touted as having “more protein” than a referenced food, your product must have 10% more of the DV per RACC than the referenced food.
When deciding which nutrient content claims you are eligible to use, it’s important to use accurate recipes. LabelCalc’s online database analysis will give you accurate FDA-compliant food labels with FDA-Approved Health Claims included.
LabelCalc is an industry-leading recipe analysis tool used by food manufactures, global retail stores and food entrepreneurs. To get started, see our pricing today.