HomelabelsABC nutrition facts

ABC nutrition facts

Nutritional indications, cd nutrition claims. However, not all the information you see is compliant with the rules in force. To follow, the ABC.

Nutritional indications, the rules in the EU

The cd nutrition claims - that is to say, the nutritional claims offered in the commercial information relating to food products - are governed, in Europe, by Regulation (EC) no. 1924/06.

Pursuant to the aforementioned regulation, it is meant by

'inutritional statement', any indication that affirms, suggests or implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties, due to:

a) to the energy (caloric value) that it contributes, contributes at a reduced or increased rate, or does not contribute, and / or

b) the nutrients or other substances it contains, contains in reduced or increased proportions, or does not contain.(1)

The only nutritional indications allowed throughout Europe are those provided in the Annex to the NHC regulation (Nutrition and Health Claims). In compliance with the requirements and conditions strictly established therein, which concern both the energy, nutrient and micronutrient levels (eg vitamins and minerals), and the methods of communication. (2) 

Nutrition claims, terms of use

Among the different nutritional indications admitted, we focus on those which - in the general perception of consumers - are more or less directly associated with cardiovascular health. 

The generally recognized diets as 'healthy' - from the Mediterranean diet to Nordic Diet, until Healthy eating index - they are moreover characterized by a moderate intake of sugars, a high fiber content and a low content of saturated fat. With particular beware of salt and control of the balance between consumed and consumed energy (Calories).

Claims relating to 'good fats' (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, unsaturated, Omega3 have already been considered in previous article). Below, the others nutrition claims of major importance.

'Low calorie

An indication that a food is low in calories, 'few calories'and any other information of similar significance are allowed only when the product does not express an energy exceeding 40 kcal (170 kJ) / 100 g for solids, 20 kcal (80 kJ) / 100 ml for liquids. For table-top sweeteners, the limit of 4 kcal (17kJ) / unit dose (equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar) applies.

'reduced calorie content'

The indication that a food has a reduced calorie content and any other information of equal significance are allowed only if the energy value is reduced by at least 30%. Using as a benchmark the average of the best-selling products on the market that belong to the same product category, please note, and not the 'previous recipe'. There is also an obligation to specify the characteristics that cause a reduction in the total energy value of the food.

'Without calories'

The wording 'without calories'and any other similar communication are subject to the condition that the drink does not express more than 4 kcal (17 kJ) / 100 ml. For table-top sweeteners the limit of 0,4 kcal (1,7kJ) / unit dose (equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar) applies.

'Low in fat'

An indication that a food is low in fat, 'low in fat'and any other information of similar significance for the consumer is permitted only if the product does not contain more than 3 g of fat per 100 g for solids or 1,5 g of fat per 100 ml for liquids. In the case of semi-skimmed milk, this refers to 1,8 g of fat per 100 ml.

'Fat free'

The indication 'fat free ', like other similar ones, it is permitted when the fat content of the food does not exceed 0,5 g per 100 g / ml. It should be noted that terms such as'x% fat free'are prohibited instead.

'Low in saturated fat'

'Low in saturated fats,low in saturated fat' and similar claim they can be used when the sum of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids contained in the product does not exceed 1,5 g / 100 g for solids or 0,75 g / 100 ml for liquids. In both cases, the sum of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids cannot in any case exceed 10% of the average recommended energy intake (2000 kcal / day).

With subsequent regulations (EC reg. 1047 and 1048/2008), the Commission also established that 'The indication "low in saturated fat" and any other indication that may have the same meaning for the consumer is only allowed:

a) if the sum of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids in the product bearing the claim is at least 30% lower than the sum of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids in a similar product, and

b) if the content in trans fatty acids of the product bearing the indication is equal to or less than that found in a similar product.'

'Without saturated fatsi'

The claim that a food is free of saturated fat and any other claim that may have the same meaning for the consumer are allowed only if the sum of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids does not exceed 0,1 g of saturated fat per 100 g or 100 ml.

'Low in sugar'

The claim that a food is low in sugar and any other claim that may have the same meaning for the consumer are only allowed if the product contains no more than 5 g of sugars per 100 g for solids or 2,5 g of sugars per 100 ml for liquids.

With subsequent regulations (EC reg. 1047/08 and 1048/2008) the Commission also established that 

'The indication “a reduced sugar content " and any other indication that can have the same meaning for the consumer is allowed only if the amount of energy of the product bearing the indication is equal to or less than the amount of energy of a similar product'.

'Sugar free'

The claim that a food is sugar-free and any other claim that may have the same meaning for the consumer are allowed only if the product contains no more than 0,5 g of sugars per 100 g / ml. 

'Without added sugars'

The indication 'with no added sugar'and any other equivalent wording postulate that no mono- or disaccharides or other food products used for their sweetening properties (eg honey, fruit concentrates) have been added to the food recipe. If the food naturally contains sugars, it must include the note on the label 'naturally contains sugars'.

'Low in sodium/sale'

Il claim 'low in sodium / saltand the like are permitted if the product does not contain more than 0,12 g of sodium, or an equivalent value of salt, per 100 g / ml. For waters other than natural mineral waters (which fall within the scope of Directive 80/777 / EEC), this value must not exceed 2 mg of sodium per 100 ml.

'Low in sodium / salt'

The claim 'very low sodium / salt content'can be legitimately expressed where the sodium content in the food is equal to or less than 0,04 g, or equivalent salt, per 100 g / ml. This indication is not allowed on the labels of natural mineral waters or other waters.

'Sodium / salt free'

The nutrition claim 'sodium free' or 'salt free' is subject to the condition that the sodium content of the food does not exceed 0,005 g, or the equivalent in salt, per 100 g.

With subsequent regulations (EC reg. 1047 and 1048/2008) the Commission introduced a further one claim nutritional:

'Sodium free /salt added'

The indication 'without added sodium / salt'is allowed where - in the recipe of the food or drink - neither sodium, nor salt, or any other ingredient that contains these substances (eg sodium glutamate) has been added. In any case, the sodium content in the product must not exceed 0,12 g - or equivalent salt value - per 100 g / ml.

'Source fibers'

Directions as'fiber source'and'contains fiber'postulate the presence in the food of at least 3 g of fiber per 100 g, or at least 1,5 g of fiber per 100 kcal.

'High in fiber'

claim 'high fiber content,rich in fiber'and others of equal significance for the consumer are permitted only if the product contains at least 6 g of fiber per 100 g, or at least 3 g of fiber per 100 kcal.

'Reduced rate of [nutrient name]'

An indication that the content of one or more nutrients is'reduced,less'and any other statement of this magnitude are legitimate only where the reduction of the nutrient indicated is equal to at least 30%. Also in this case, as for all the hypotheses of claim comparative nutritional values, referring to the average of the best-selling foods in the reference market. (3) Not being able to admit, vice versa, the comparison with the 'previous recipe' nor with other references from the same operator. 

If the reduction refers to one or more micronutrients (eg vitamins and minerals), a difference of 10% from the reference values ​​referred to in reg. UE 1169/11 (Annex XIII, Part A). 

For sodium and salt, the difference cannot be less than 25% of the average.

'Light / light'

nutrition claims as 'light,and, too'or similar are subject to the same conditions set for the term'reduced'. This statement must also be accompanied by a specification of the characteristics that make the product 'light'and'and, too'(ex.'light in fat / sugar / calories').

Dario Dongo

Footnotes

(1) See reg. CE 1924/06, article 2.2.4

(2) See reg. EC 1924/06 and subsequent amendments. Consolidated text on http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:02006R1924-20141213&qid=1527195264839&from=EN 

(3) See reg. CE 1924/06 and subsequent amendments, article 9

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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