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Volume 13, Number 6 - June 2013

Hello from Food Label News. This month we explore the market-specific differences in food labeling between the U.S. and EU and what you need to know to develop compliant labels. We also continue our popular series on Nutrition Analysis with a quick link to view segments you may have missed. Be sure to join the conversation in the Food Label Community on LinkedIn for the latest hot topics in food labeling.  

In this issue you'll find:


"Thank you for the excellent service!!"

– Jan Matsuno
Mindful Food Consulting

Nuances In Nutrition Labeling: U.S. vs EU

Nutrition Analysis Series - Part 8 of 10
Triple-check Your Work

Reader Q&A: Net Weight Tolerance

What's News in the Food Label Community


Karen C. Duester, President

Nuances in Nutrition Labeling: U.S. vs EU

The EU process for food labeling is similar to what is required for FDA-regulated foods in U.S. It is incumbent upon food labelers to understand the market-specific nuances to ensure that product labels are compliant with all current regulations.

Each market has its own set of regulations and graphic requirements as highlighted below:

There are several elements required on a U.S. Nutrition Facts that are not required for EU: Servings Per Container, Calories from Fat, Trans Fat, Cholesterol, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron. In addition, the % Daily Value column and the Daily Values footnote are not required in EU.

U.S. requires use of English, EU requires Anglicized English and/or the native language of the country. A multi-lingual label is permissible.

In EU, nutrient values are generally reported per 100g or 100 mL basis, whereas in U.S. these values are reported per FDA Serving Size.

In EU, Energy is declared as kJ/kcal, instead of Calories as in U.S.

In EU, vitamins and minerals are permitted only when 15% or more for solids, or 7.5% or more for liquids.

In U.S., Fiber/Fibre is included in the Total Carbohydrate value, whereas it is not included in the Carbohydrate value for EU labels.

EU requires a listing for Salt instead of Sodium; Sodium cannot be displayed within the nutrition graphic in EU. Salt is derived by multiplying Sodium x 2.5.

See a side-by-side comparison of Nutrition Facts graphics for U.S. and EU.

What's News in the
Food Label Community

FDA responds on adding caffeine to foods and beverages

State activity toward mandatory GMO labeling

Implementing EU health claims

"Local" Food Definition Changed in Canada

Ingredient labeling for dried and pureed items

Labeling requirements for vegan, raw, and never heated

Connect with other food labelers on LinkedIn

Reader Favorites

Examples of U.S. Nutrition Facts Labels


Search answers to food label questions

Each regulatory body (FDA in U.S., EFSA in EU) establishes the reference amounts to be used in nutrition labeling. Because this is a geography-specific process, reference amounts for nutrients vary around the world. See a quick, detailed overview of required and allowable nutrients for nutrition labeling and their established reference amounts in U.S., Canada, Mexico, and EU.

Nutrition Analysis Series - Part 8 of 10
Triple-check Your Work

This month’s installment in our 10-part series overviews Step 8 of the Nutrition Analysis process: the need to triple-check your work. 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. 

While it may be obvious, you’ll need to step back from the process and take a look at your results to ensure that they pass the common sense test.

View/print Part 8 of the series.

If you missed earlier parts of the series you can view and download them now. (Get Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 or Part 7.) The print-ready pages from all parts of the series will add up to the complete guide.

Reader Q&A

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


I need to know what is the allowable weight tolerance for a pre-packaged food product. For example, if we are declaring a net weight of 5 oz. can we sell products with a weight lower than 5.0 oz. in the U.S.? What are the FDA regulations on net weight tolerance?
N.C., Ontario, Food Manufacturer


The FDA regulation on Net Weight is found in 21 CFR 101.105. In this regulation FDA makes allowance for reasonable variations caused by loss or gain of moisture during the course of good distribution practice or by unavoidable deviations in good manufacturing practice. FDA states that variations from the stated quantity of contents should not be unreasonably large. Read more.

What matters in food labeling

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