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Volume 17, Number 3 - March 2017

Hello from Food Label News! This month we focus on Canada's Food Labelling Modernization, which brings changes to nutrition facts and ingredient statements. Meanwhile companies who sell foods in the U.S. are busy preparing for the nutrition labeling compliance date that looms less than 16 months away (on July 26, 2018, for most companies). Check out the Food Label Community for lively discussions about the complexities of implementation and the nitty-gritty aspects of regulatory compliance.

In this issue you'll find:

Canada's Food Labelling Modernization

What's News in the Food Label Community

Reader Q&A: Sub-ingredients for Baking Powder?


"Love your newsletter! I really appreciated all the regulatory roundup links in this particular issue. Keep up the good work!"

– Richard Young  
JTM Food Group  


Karen C. Duester, President

Canada's Food Labelling Modernization

"Making the healthier choice the easier choice" for consumers is the goal for Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy. An important part of this strategy is a revision to Canada's Food Guide, launched last fall, which aims to reduce sodium in processed foods, eliminate industrial trans fats, provide consumers more information about sugars and food colours, and restrict marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children.


Reader Favorites

Nutrient News Series, A Closer Look at U.S. Graphic Changes


Health Canada's comprehensive strategy includes a three-part approach: food safety, food labelling, and front-of-pack messaging.

Finalized changes to the Nutrition Facts Table and Ingredient Statement, released on December 14, 2016, will help make food labels easier to understand. Highlights include:

Addition of a % Daily Value for Total Sugars in the Nutrition Facts Table and the grouping of all sugar-based ingredients under the name "Sugars" in the Ingredient Statement. This grouping requirement elevates Sugars in the list of ingredients, making high sugar foods more obvious to consumers. Of interest, Health Canada did not adopt the U.S. requirement to declare Added Sugars within the Nutrition Facts Table.

All food colours must be declared by their common name rather than the generic term "colour" within the list of ingredients.

Format of the Ingredient Statement and Allergen Information will more closely parallel the format requirements for the Nutrition Facts Table, including use of black type on a white background, bullets to separate ingredients replacing commas, and a box surrounding the entire Ingredient Statement to separate it as a distinct component of the label.

Declaration of Vitamin D and Potassium within the Nutrition Facts Table.

Addition of a footnote at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts Table that states "5% or less is a little…" and "15% or more is a lot…" to help consumers better interpret % Daily Value.

Changes to some serving sizes to make comparing similar food products easier.

We can expect the third part of Health Canada's comprehensive strategy, front-of-pack messaging, to be released soon.

Health Canada's approach is to integrate these and other food label changes into a single 2021 compliance date to streamline the process for the food industry. Managing all the pieces and parts of an implementation strategy for such a widespread change is no doubt challenging; knowing the totality of the regulations during the planning process is an enormous benefit.

What's News in the Food Label Community

New Nutrition Facts safe from repeal by Congressional Review Act (31+ likes)

Country of origin labeling for saffron (12+ comments)

New Nutrition Facts label implementation (13+ comments)

No added sugars EU (13+ comments)

New U.S. Nutrition Label in Mexico? (10+ comments)

Join Food Label Community. Already a member, view Discussions.

Reader Q&A

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


Two of my frozen bread formulas include baking powder although my ingredient list does not include the sub-components of the baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, potassium tartrate, cornstarch). Do the sub-ingredients need to be included within the ingredient statement in the U.S.? 
D.J., Oregon, Food Manufacturer


Yes, the sub-ingredients for baking powder must be included within the ingredient statement of foods sold in the U.S. Specifically, 21 CFR 101.4 requires that all ingredients be listed in descending order of predominance in the ingredient statement. You may include the sub-ingredients parenthetically after baking powder, or as separate ingredients by weight within the finished product ingredient statement.

Interestingly, Canada does not require the inclusion of sub-ingredient components for baking powder. See a previous one-pager on this topic. More Reader Q&As.


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