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Volume 13, Number 11 - November 2012

Hello from Food Label News. We are thankful as we begin our 20th year helping clients around the world with their food labeling and regulatory needs. Through Food Label News, we keep you current with what matters in food labeling. This issue covers a popular topic: the 5 must-haves for food labels. We also begin a series on due diligence with database nutrition analysis and will add installments each month focused on different aspects of the process. Wishing you all the best this Fall.

In this issue you'll find:


"Thank you for helping me turn my dream into a reality. You have made my life absolutely even better. Thank you so much - I'm heading to the printer now!"

– Stephanie Sorini
La Mia Famiglia's Antipasto

5 Must-Haves for FDA Food Labels

Nutrition Analysis: First in a 10-part Series

Reader Q&A: Is Vitamin E Required?

What's News in the Food Label Community


Karen C. Duester, President

5 Must-Haves for FDA Food Labels

There are five required components for every FDA-regulated food label. These requirements are divided into the Principal Display Panel (PDP, front of package) and the Information Panel (IP, right side/back of package). The positioning and type size for each component is tightly regulated in the Code of Federal Regulations. To help navigate the nuances of creating food label artwork, check out a quick one-page summary of these label components.

Principal Display Panel (PDP) is the most predominant label panel on the package, the one most visible at the point of sale. It includes the Product Identity and Net Contents Statement.

Information Panel (IP) is the label panel immediately to the right of the PDP. It includes the Nutrition Facts, Ingredient/Allergen Statement, and Signature Line. If there is only a front and back of the package, the IP is the back panel. If there is a four-sided package, the IP is the right side panel.

 Download the one-pager.

What's News in the
Food Label Community

New FTC rules for eco-friendly, recyclables, etc.

Calif Prop 37: will it also define natural?

More front-of-pack labeling

"Keep Refrigerated" statements

Connect with other food labelers on LinkedIn

Reader Favorites

Which is better: lab or database nutrition analysis?

Search answers to food label questions

Food labelers who are labeling USDA-regulated foods must be aware of a different set of requirements that include components such as safe handling instructions and the USDA inspection legend. Food labeling for Canada, Mexico and EU use many similar components to that of the U.S., although the formatting, placement, and intricacies of each label component can be quite different.

Nutrition Analysis: First in a 10-part series

Determining Nutrition Facts values can be a challenging undertaking and requires due diligence to ensure accurate and customer-friendly nutrition information. This 10-part series is a quick guide with lots of "AHA" insights to save you time while ensuring the results you get will stand up to the toughest scrutiny.

Each month we will provide print-ready pages that step you through the important aspects of the due diligence process. By the conclusion of the series you will have the complete guide. This series is based on a widely regarded publication distributed by ESHA Research to users of Genesis R&D, the industry’s leading nutrition analysis software.

This month’s installment includes the front cover, table of contents, and Step 1: Gather Your Data Sources. It will be important to establish the list of ingredients in your recipe, determine the nutrients you will be tracking, have a research-quality nutrition analysis database, and evaluate the information on your supplier specification sheets.

View/print Part 1 of the series.

Reader Q&A

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


According to my reading and understanding of the FDA guidelines, Vitamin E does not need to be included in the Nutrition Facts Panel unless a claim is made about it on the packaging or when it is added as a supplement. Is this correct? The FDA guidelines are so detailed! Just wanted to make sure I get it right.
N.B., Illinois, Market Research Firm


You are correct. Vitamin E is a voluntary nutrient for U.S. Nutrition Facts labeling unless it is the basis for a claim on the label, in labeling or advertising, or is used to fortify the food. Read more.

What matters in food labeling

Food Label News, now in its 13th year, is a monthly e-newsletter reaching over 7,500 subscribers around the world. We welcome your colleagues to subscribe for news and insights about food labels:


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