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

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Did you ever wonder why your favorite ice cream has the nutrition information for a ⅔ cup? It’s because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed serving sizes for multiple categories referred to as Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACC).

The ice cream you purchase from any retailer will be using the same serving size (household measure may differ), so you’re able to easily compare the nutrition information. The FDA took a look at the RACC’s and updated them with the 2016 Nutrition Facts Label to better fit what people are actually consuming in one sitting.

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Most everyone remembers the food pyramid from their grade school days (or even later in life), which was the visual cue issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Americans to use when making decisions regarding their dietary habits and choices. Unfortunately, the food pyramid marketing programs were so successful that most Americans still have not transitioned to the new USDA health program, MyPlate, which replaced the food pyramid program back in 2011. The food industry is partially to blame since many of the food labels making dietary guideline product claims continue to cite old vocabulary from the food pyramid days, for example “servings” of fruits and vegetables instead of “cups” from the new and improved MyPlate plan. Understanding how to apply the MyPlate criteria to produce properly is one clear way to communicate healthy eating choices to our growing population.

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