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Volume 14, Number 2 - February 2014

Hello from Food Label News! This month we salute our friends to the north with an article that contrasts food label regulations in U.S. and Canada, and we continue the series on package claims focused on structure/function. The Reader Q&A is on the popular topic of rounding for Nutrition Facts. If you have a question you'd like addressed, send it to us as a potential Reader Q&A for a future issue, post it in the Food Label Community, or receive a confidential and timely answer using our Regulatory Support. We're always happy to hear what's on your mind!

In this issue you'll find:


"Your newsletter is very informative, and you do those in the profession a very good deed by hosting the Food Label Community."

– Richard Perlmutter, M.S.
Abington Nutrition Services LLC

Nuances in Nutrition Labeling: U.S. vs. Canada

Package Claims: U.S & Canada - Part 4 of 8
U.S. Structure/Function Claims

Reader Q&A: Rounding Servings per Container

What's News in the Food Label Community


Karen C. Duester, President

Nuances in Nutrition Labeling:
U.S. vs. Canada

For food companies who want to sell products in multiple countries, understanding the similarities and differences for nutrition labeling is crucial to reduce regulatory risk. We were recently asked by Food Chemical News to explore how these regulations vary across geographies and their implications for food labelers.

It’s important to know that it is not possible to create a single label that can be used in U.S. and Canada. Each country has its own set of regulations and graphic requirements. Here are some highlights of the differences:

U.S. requires: 1) Servings Per Container, 2) Calories from Fat, 3) % Daily Value (DV) for Cholesterol, and 4) DV footnote. These elements are not required on a Nutrition Facts table for Canada.

In Canada, Trans Fat is rounded to the nearest tenth (0.1g), whereas in U.S. it is rounded to the nearest half (0.5g).

There is no DV for Trans Fat in the U.S. In Canada, Trans Fat is added to Saturated Fat to determine a composite DV.

Canada requires bilingual English/French and Anglicized English for words such as fibre.

Country-specific requirements can result in different values for the same formulation. For example, the fiber/fibre definition varies between the two countries as well as DVs for some vitamins and minerals.

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

What's News in the
Food Label Community

FDA provides Guidance for makers of energy drinks

Labeling an almond-type flavor made from peach and apricot pits

Protein claims on grains? Using the corrected amino acid score

Added water in fruit juice - does it always need to be listed?

Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: discussions reopened?

What are the gluten-free rules for restaurants?

Connect with other food labelers on LinkedIn

Reader Favorites

Key Differences in Ingredient and Allergen Labeling for U.S. & Canada


Search answers to food label questions

Each country's regulatory body (FDA in U.S., CFIA in Canada) establishes the reference amounts to be used in nutrition labeling. Because this is a country-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.

Package Claims: U.S. and Canada - Part 4 of 8
U.S. Structure/Function Claims

This month's installment in our 8-part series overviews U.S. structure/function claims. This series is designed to help food labelers become familiar with what claims and label statements are allowable and how to position a product’s nutritional attributes to achieve marketing objectives.

U.S. structure/function claims describe the role of a nutrient or functional component in affecting or maintaining normal body structure or function, or general well-being. You will find a useful reference for examples of allowable structure/function claims and guidance for what variations of these claims become non-allowable drug claims.

View/print Part 4 of the series.

If you missed earlier parts of the series you can view and download them now: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The print-ready pages from all parts of the series will add up the complete regulatory guide for U.S. and Canadian package claims.

Reader Q&A

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


The CFR section 101.9(c)(8)(i) states that Servings Per Container between 2 and 5 need to be rounded to the nearest half (0.5). Some of our packages contain 3.89 servings on an unrounded basis. We initially thought that we should round to 4, but we are wondering if we should round down to 3.5 instead. I would really appreciate your input. 
B.H., Ohio, Retail Confections


If your calculations yield an unrounded number of 3.89 Servings Per Container, then you should report the Servings Per Container as "about 4" within the Nutrition Facts Panel. Note use of the word “about” to signify a rounded number. If however your unrounded number of Servings Per Container is calculated as 3.69, then you would report the number of servings as "about 3.5" within the Nutrition Facts Panel. More reader Q&As on Serving Size and Servings Per Container.

What matters in food labeling

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