The LabelCalc Blog

Ingredients Label Requirements: What You Need to Know

Thousands of ingredients are used in today’s manufacturing to make the foods we love and share around the table. 

Before the food products make it to our table, however, there’s an extensive process involved for products to be sold, including the nutrition facts label on every food item. 

This post will discuss the ingredients label requirements that must be on every food item to remain FDA compliant. 

Required Information on Every Ingredients Label 

Here are the basics for food labels to meet FDA requirements. Every food product must be labeled with the following labeling elements: 

1. The common name of the food (on the PDP)

Also known as its identity, the food’s common name and information are usually located on the front of the product, known as the Principal Display Panel. This is the recognizable name of the product on the front of the package that consumers will recognize on the shelves.

The Identity of a food refers to the common name of that food. For example, since Oreo is not a type of food (it is a product name), the company has to list the identification of the product, “chocolate cookies,” on the Primary Display Panel (front label) on the package. Once again, this information is used to inform consumers about what they are purchasing if they aren’t familiar with the common name of the food.

If you produce and sell a food product, you must understand the Standards of Identity before you create a product label. 

2. Net quantity of contents (on the PDP)

The net quantity of contents statement for any food item or dietary supplement is the statement that informs consumers of the amount of dietary supplement that is in the container or package.

This is the total quantity or amount of product in that packaging. For example, suppose your cookie product comes in a package of six. This section is where you would indicate that for consumers.

The net quantity of contents statement on your product label must appear as a distinct item in the bottom 30 percent of the principal display panel. It’s usually located in the lines that are parallel with the base of the container, near the bottom of the package.

3. Ingredient list (Information label)

Ingredients should be listed in descending order by weight. Weight pertains to the volume used in the product, not the amount of an ingredient. The ingredients list should appear directly below the nutritional panel, and the list of ingredients should start after the word “Ingredients:” so consumers are clear on what they are reading. 

Sub-ingredients, or the components that make up a single ingredient, must be listed in parentheses next to the main ingredient. For example, say Ketchup is an ingredient in your product. 

You would list “Ketchup (tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar)” as the sub-ingredients. 

4. Name & location of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor (PDP or information panel)

The label must include the name and location of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor.

The location requirement must include the street address, city, state, and zip code. 

5. Nutrition Information

The rear panel is reserved for the nutrition information in your product. Nutrition information contains information about the product’s nutritional composition, including nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. This includes listing any allergens as well.

How LabelCalc Can Help with Food Label Examples 

At LabelCalc, we know how frustrating and stressful it can be to create an FDA-compliant food label on your own. As a food company, your focus should be on creating delicious products that your customers love. LabelCalc can help simplify your nutrition label process and help to get your product labels FDA-compliant efficiently, so they are ready to hit the shelves faster. Learn more about Food Labeling and how we can help.