In Food labeling, Nutrition facts labels
FInding the percent daily values for your food product is quick and easy with online nutrition analysis software.

Finding the percent daily values for your food product is quick and easy with online nutrition analysis software. Image source: Igor Ovsyannykov.

Whenever I talk to first-time food manufacturers who are looking to get nutrition facts labels for their products, one of the first things I ask them is if they really understand all the elements of a nutrition facts panel. Most people don’t, to be honest, but they are always more than willing to learn. After all, understanding FDA labeling starts with learning what each component of a nutrition facts panel signifies and the purpose it serves.

One aspect of the nutrition label that I get a lot of questions about is percent daily values on food labels. Many first-time food manufacturers wonder what they represent, why they are important, and how to calculate them for their food product. In the interest of shedding some light on this part of the nutrition facts panel, here’s everything you need to know about percent daily values before you start making your food label.

What are Percent Daily Values on Food Labels?

Percent daily values represent the percentage of the recommended daily intake a single serving of food contains. For instance, if the percent daily value for saturated fat is 45%, that means you are getting almost half of the saturated fat that the FDA recommends you consume in one day. These percentages are based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories, which is the recommended intake for an average adult.

Percent daily values are required for most of the nutrients on your nutrition facts label, but not all of them. Here are the nutrients that must be accompanied by a percent daily value.

  • Total Fat
  • Saturated Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Total Carbohydrate
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Calcium

The values for the above nutrients are important because they help consumers ensure their daily diet is healthy. If, for instance, a person consumes a food product with only 10% of their daily recommended intake for Vitamin C, they can be mindful about trying to consume more of that nutrient during the rest of their day. Not only does this help people make sure they are eating a balanced diet, but percent daily values also help prevent nutrient deficiencies.

How to Determine Percent Daily Values for Your Product

Now that you understand what percent daily values are, what nutrients you are required to provide them for, and why they are important for consumers, let’s talk about how to determine your product’s percent daily values.

First-time food manufacturers may feel intimidated when it comes to figuring out percent daily values because they assume it requires them to do tough math, but with online nutrition analysis software, finding percent daily values is quick and effortless. In fact, the correct values will generate instantly if you just provide a few pieces of information.

Using a software like LabelCalc, you can obtain accurate percent daily values and a complete FDA-compliant nutrition facts panel in four simple steps:

  1. Create an account and sign in with your secure username and password.
  2. Enter the recipe for your product by searching for ingredients in our extensive USDA-compiled database.
  3. Enter your serving size and servings per package.
  4. Watch as your nutrition facts panel, complete with your percent daily values, instantly generates!

With software like LabelCalc, you don’t have to be a math whiz or know all the complicated FDA food labeling rules because our FDA-compliant template makes the perfect nutrition facts panel every time. If you do run into trouble or have any questions, our expert food labeling consultants can help you get back on track. You can also use our food labeling checklist to help guide you through the process.

I know making your first nutrition facts panel can seem daunting, but the process can actually be quite simple. Now that you understand percent daily values and know how to add them to your nutrition facts panel, you are well on your way to getting your product out there for the world to enjoy.

LabelCalc is an industry-leading online nutrition analysis software that food manufacturers trust to provide accurate results. To get started, contact us today.

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