Food Label News, Government Actions for Food Labels, FDA Regulations, Food Labels, Nutrition Labels
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Volume 8, Number 8 - August 2007


About Food Consulting Company

"You did an excellent job on our Nutritional Information Guide, thank you!"

~ Sharill Hanns

Hello Food Label News Readers. This month we welcome new subscribers who learned about Food Label News when they participated in Genesis R&D software training led by Food Consulting Company's Karen Duester, last month. New readers are also joining us directly from visits to Thank you to all for reading our monthly newsletter that keeps you informed on FDA actions and keeps you in-touch with Food Consulting Company.

Q.  I want to highlight that my dessert topping with 1.5g fat and less than 0.5g trans fat per serving contains only a small amount of partially hydrogenated oil compared to competing brands that contain almost all partially hydrogenated oil. Can I highlight this with my simplified Nutrition Facts panel?
C.M., Established Food Manufacturer, Nevada


A.  You are puzzled about the specifics of the trans fat labeling rules, and Food Consulting Company agrees the rules are tricky. Read more at Reader Q&A page.


Submit a question for Reader Q&A (no charge).

New! eCheck Payments for Food Labels Clients

In response to customer request, Food Consulting Company has added eCheck as a choice to pay for services. eCheck allows customers to pay from a checking account but with the online payment convenience and security that traditionally has come only with online credit card payment.

Food Consulting Company clients can choose the preferred payment method (eCheck, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or paper check by mail) when placing orders from the company's secure online order system.

FDA - Food Labels Health Claims Study Results

In May 2007, FDA posted "Experimental Study of Health Claims on Food Packages - Preliminary Topline Frequency Report" on its website. The study investigated alternatives for regulating qualified health claims and was described in an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), published in the November 25, 2003, Federal Register.

The study objective was to evaluate and compare consumers' reactions to food-specific health claims that do not mention the substance (nutrient) that underlies the diet-disease relationship (e.g.,"Yogurt may reduce the risk of osteoporosis") and substance-specific health claims that mention the substance (e.g., "Calcium-rich foods, such as yogurt, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis").

While the findings are intended to inform policymakers on initiatives that FDA may undertake in the future, food labelers might appreciate findings about consumer intention to buy a product. Per the report: Respondents would be more likely to consider buying the product when the health claim they see mentions the nutrient responsible for the benefit. The intent to purchase is stronger for a product with a substance-specific health claim than for a product with any other health messages (nutrient content claims, structure/function claims, dietary guidance statements) or a label without any health message. Respondents are least likely to buy a product when they see a nutrient content claim or a label that does not include any health message. See report.

Commentary: Food Consulting Company thinks that food labelers may find the entire findings interesting.  See Food Consulting Company services for help with writing label claims.

FDA's Spot the Block Nutrition Labels Program

In June 2007, FDA launched a public education campaign, "Spot the Block" to encourage youth ages 9 to 13 to look for the Nutrition Facts Label on food packages and to read and think about the information before making food choices. FDA is partnered with Time Warner's Cartoon Network to promote the campaign. Spot the Block is one outcome of FDA's 2004 Obesity Working Group. FDA plans a complementary Parent Outreach Campaign. Spot the Block messages are:

  • check serving size - one package isn't always one serving

  • consider the calories - 40 is low, 100 is moderate, 400 is high

  • choose nutrients wisely - pick foods that are lower in fats, cholesterol, sodium, and sugars

See Spot the Block

Commentary: Spot the Block was listed as a CFSAN 2007 priority. FDA's Obesity Working Group brought to attention problems with calorie reporting on the Nutrition Facts panel. See April 2004 Food Label News archive for background.

It is interesting to note that in the campaign messages, FDA has stated what calorie levels per serving are considered low, medium and high. Get nutritional analysis and Nutrition Facts panel development help here.

At Your Service: Free Food Labels Help

Free Food Label News, Food Consulting Company's monthly newsletter, reports on timely FDA actions in a hands-on, reader-friendly way; you might find your answer here.

Free Reader Q&A answers real reader questions each month; submit your question and see Q&A archive; you might find your answer here.

For definite help, see services and prices at Food Consulting Company.

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Food Consulting Company
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Del Mar, CA 92014 USA