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Volume 12, Number 11 - November 2011

Hello from Food Label News. This month we begin our 12th year of bringing you Food Label News, an industry favorite about what matters most in food labeling. We’re delighted to receive your kudos and also welcome your feedback about new ways we can serve you. Keep those cards and letters coming.

Front-of-pack labeling is still front and center for our industry. We review the IOM Phase II report and continue our popular series on Nutrition Facts labeling with helpful how-to examples. Happy reading.

In this issue you'll find:


"We LOVE your newsletter. You do a great job of compiling and explaining relevant industry information."

– Meredith Williams, 
Clabber Girl Corporation

IOM Phase II Front-of-Pack Labeling

Examples of Nutrition Facts Labels:
Part 2 of 10

Reader Q&A: Serving Size for Flavoring

Helpful links to keep you current


Karen C. Duester, President

IOM Phase II Front-of-Pack Labeling

On October 20, 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its long awaited Phase II report with recommendations for front-of-pack (FOP) labeling, intended to help consumers choose healthier foods to prevent the most common chronic diseases (high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity).

The report calls on FDA/USDA to develop, test and implement a single, standard FOP symbol system to appear on all food products and be actively promoted to industry, consumers and other stakeholders. The symbol system includes “nutrients to limit” (calories, saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars); it does not include “nutrients to encourage” as featured in GMA/FMI Facts Up Front.

Sample FOP graphic for a product that meets qualifying criteria for saturated & trans fat, sodium, and added sugars (3 points)


Use of a ranking system (points) to indicate a product meets qualifying criteria for saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars (see chapter 7 of the report)

No points given to product categories that significantly add sugars (sugars, sweets and beverages) or exceed threshold limits for any of the critical nutrients

While the recommendations are for retail foods (packages and shelf tags), IOM hopes they will also be implemented for foods sold in restaurants, food service and other venues

Keeping You Current

GMA statement on new IOM report

Canada's New Approach on Energy Drinks

AHA Heart-Check Program: healthy fats added

Definition for "natural" - discussion on LinkedIn

American Dietetic Association becomes Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Join Food Label Community
for a discussion of the news

Reader Favorites

One-page side-by-side comparison of U.S. and Canadian Nutrition Facts

This IOM report does not add any immediate new requirements for food labelers and it is not yet known how FDA/USDA will use these recommendations. Any new regulations or guidance could take several years to publish and/or become law. Join the discussion in the Food Label Community on LinkedIn.

Examples of Nutrition Facts Labels: Part 2 of 10

Requirements for Nutrition Facts Labels in the U.S. vary based on several factors. This series provides examples of compliant Nutrition Facts Labels for the most common scenarios.

One of the primary variables for developing a compliant Nutrition Facts Label is the space available for labeling. If your package is more than 40 square inches, the Nutrition Facts graphic must include the full Daily Values chart, sometimes referred to as the long footnote, in the standard (vertical) layout. When there is insufficient vertical space, FDA/USDA makes allowances for side-by-side (split) or tabular (horizontal) layouts.

Always optional on food labels is the “calories per gram” footnote that comes after the full Daily Values chart. Many food labelers choose to use this valuable label real estate for other purposes instead.

Take a quick look at helpful how-to examples of Nutrition Facts Labels for large packages.

Reader Q&A

Find answers to our readers' questions or send us your question for an upcoming issue.


What should a serving size be for a retail baking flavor? There are so many uses from cookies to smoothies, which would have significantly different serving sizes and nutrition information?
V.L., Iowa, Established Food Company


The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) does not include a specific reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) for baking flavors. FDA’s Food Labeling Guide in section L62 includes suggested RACCs for a number of product categories not included in the CFR. Products marketed as flavor substances for baking would most closely resemble flavoring oils with a suggested RACC of 1 tsp (__g).  Read more.

At Your Service

Food Consulting Company, founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support to ensure 100% compliance with FDA regulations. With well over 1,500 clients worldwide, we’re pleased to provide information to address your food labeling needs.

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