Food Label News, Government Actions for Food Labels, FDA Regulations, Food Labels, Nutrition Labels
Food Label News ArchiveFood Label News SubscriptionsNutritional Analysis Food Labels - Food Nutrition Facts LabelsFood Consulting Company: Nutrition-Labeling-Regulatory

Volume 9, Number 1 - January 2008


About Food Consulting Company

" I wanted to extend my deep appreciation for your talent and your timeliness on my recent projects. Importing from Turkey, language barriers and everything under the sun that didn’t make sense -- you brought clarity to our mission."

~ Dan Hughes
OPTIMideas / Value Quest Foods

Happy New Year!  We hope you had time to relax and refresh over the holiday season. To keep your refreshed feeling, lessen your load by ordering a prepaid plan for regulatory support from Food Consulting Company. With a plan you will get timely, accurate answers to questions that might otherwise stump, stress or slow you down. See the plans and order:

Q.  Is it a requirement that vitamins and minerals (Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron, etc.) in the Nutrition Facts be reported using even numbers? If yes, what is the logic for this, and what is the rule?   K.B., Packaging Company, California


A.  FDA regulations specify "rounding rules" for the % Daily Value of vitamins and minerals. When the rules are properly followed the % Daily Value for a nutrient can be an even or odd number. Read more


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

Food Labels Q&A Winning Topics Announced

Food Consulting Company notified three newsletter subscribers that questions they submitted to Food Label News were selected as winning questions among those that were answered in the newsletter during 2007. The questions/topics are winners because they ranked highest in interest by other readers. Each of the three winners received a $25 check in recognition of his/her contribution to Food Label News. Top topics addressed in Reader Q&A for 2007 and 2006 and links for easy review are:


trans fat labeling, August

signature line, February

sample food packages, November



internet sales, August

GMO labeling, July

lab vs. database analysis, September


All questions answered in Food Label News are posted on Food Consulting Company's Reader Q&A Page.

Commentary: Food Label News will continue to respond to one question per month as space permits. Submitters of the top three questions during the 2008 calendar year will be acknowledged with a $25 thank you check in January 2009.

What’s Up? Nutrition Quality Indexes/Systems

Nutritional quality indexes and nutritional scoring systems are terms for methods that are being developed to determine a "nutritional score" for individual foods. The nutrition scores will soon appear on some food labels and on some shelf labels near product price information. According to Internet news reports at least one system is ready for use and others are in development by industry and health advocacy groups. The scores are based on a number of nutrition related factors (e.g., certain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and calories); the exact factors vary between systems.

Under current FDA regulations the nutrition scores can be used on food labels as long as the stated information is truthful and not misleading.

FDA is looking into the use of symbols on food labels to communicate nutrition information to consumers. In September 2007, the Agency held a public meeting on this topic. Transcripts of the meeting have not yet been posted on FDA's web site. Recently FDA reopened the comment period to end January 15, 2008. The September Food Label News reported on the meeting agenda.

Commentary: Food Consulting Company clients are increasingly interested in front-of-pack labeling, including symbols and scores. We can help you evaluate symbols and scoring systems and prepare FDA compliant labels.

Public Speaks to FDA on Salt and Health

On November 29, 2007, FDA held a public meeting on the regulatory status of salt. FDA received comments on whether FDA should change salt's regulatory status from GRAS (generally recognized as safe) to food additive and require limits on salt in processed foods. The November Food Label News reported on the meeting agenda.

Transcripts of the meeting have not yet been posted on FDA's web site, however arguments in favor of the changes in regulatory status have been widely reported by Internet news outlets. Per the reports, health advocates (e.g., American Medical Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest, others) argued for FDA to strengthen salt labeling requirements and to change salt's current status from GRAS to controlled food additive.

Opposing arguments seem to get less attention in the reports, however Food Consulting Company has learned that at least one health advocacy group (American Dietetic Association) argued at the meeting that while consuming less salt and sodium could improve the public's health, it remains unclear how to best accomplish this within the current environment and regulatory framework of the United States.

At Your Service:  Shelf Life Evaluations and use of "best before" or "use by" label statements keep your "fresh" product in the pantry. Food Consulting Company can help.

Please share this newsletter in its entirety, including subscription and copyright information.
For reprint permission, please contact us.

© 2008, Food Consulting Company. All rights reserved.