Highlights:

  • The new FDA Nutrition Facts Panel deadline is January 1st, 2020 for food manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales
  • Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales have an additional year to comply
  • The FDA has updated its list of required nutrients, reference amounts for serving sizes, and the daily values
  • Added Sugars and Dietary Fiber values will require additional consideration, and cannot always be determined analytically
  • Don’t delay! Label printing will likely come before the FDA deadline


As summer comes to an end and fall weather starts to creep in, the preparation for the new year and changes ahead take place. This year, in addition to seasonal changes, changes to our food Nutrition Facts Panel are also right around the corner. As the FDA deadline for updated Nutrition Facts Panel approaches, here are some things to consider.

First off, when exactly are these changes taking place?

Starting January 1st, 2020, all food manufacturers that have $10 million or more in annual sales must update their nutrition information, and use the new panel design. Food manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales have an additional year to comply with the changes, which will be required by January 1, 2021. 

Okay, what exactly needs to be changed?

  • The updated Nutrition Facts label has a new style with Calories larger and bolder to attract the consumer’s attention.
  • The FDA now requires Vitamin D, Potassium and Added Sugars values to be displayed and has removed Calories from Fat, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
  • The new footnote at the bottom of the label has changed to better explain the meaning of %DV (Daily Value).  The %DV helps the consumer understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet of 2,000 calories.
  • Vitamins and minerals will now require a quantitative amount to be listed in addition to the % Daily Value. 
  • The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) have been updated, so many of the Daily Values will also change. 
  • The Reference Amounts set by the FDA that are used to figure out proper serving sizes of a particular food have changed for many food categories. For example, ice cream used to be declared as nutrition per ½ cup, but the new reference amount is ⅔ cup (more ice cream for us!).
  • Products that have a net weight that falls between 200-300% of the Reference Amount will be required to use a Dual Column label that displays nutrition per serving and per the entire container.

You said Added Sugars, how is that different from Total Sugars?

Added sugars are one of the larger changes with this new update. The new added sugars value will tell the consumer how much of the total sugar is coming from ingredient sources that have been added during processing and do not naturally exist in the product. 

For example, if you have a sweetened juice product that contains both natural sugar from the fruit and added sugar from refined sugar, there will be a different value for total sugar and added sugar. The total sugar value will include natural sugar from the fruit plus the refined sugar, and the added sugar value will include just the refined (added) sugar. This new value cannot be tested in a laboratory and must be calculated using the product’s formulation. 

Got it! I also remember hearing something about Fiber updates. What is that all about?

Yes! The FDA has published a list of synthetic fibers that are no longer considered Dietary Fiber. The fibers on this list have no physiological benefits to the body. So, this means that if your product uses any of these synthetic fibers, their contribution to the analytically tested fiber value must be removed from the final Dietary Fiber value on the label.

Okay, is there anything else?

The changes to the FDA Nutrition Facts panel are approaching faster than we realize, so if you have not done so already, it is time to update your labels now! Remember that your label printing dates will likely come sooner than the deadline, so don’t delay. Contact us today if you need help navigating the changes ahead.

 

 

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