Nutrition Label Claims
My guess is most of us read food labels. Although nutritional claims are regulated by governments and will vary by country to some extent, I thought it would be interesting to see read what some of the definitions are of terms describing what we eat.
The Canadian Government has rules in place that must be met before a nutrition claim can be made on a label or advertisement. The rules for nutrition claims apply to all foods, prepackaged and not prepackaged, no matter where they are sold.
A manufacturer can choose whether or not to include nutrition claims on the label or in the advertisement of a food.
Examples of claims:
Source of Fibre
Manufacturers of food can highlight a product’s nutrition features using claims such as "Source of fibre". "Source of fibre" means the food contains at least 2 grams of dietary fibre in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table.
"Low" is always associated with a very small amount. “Low fat” means that the food contains no more than 3 grams of fat in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table. In a healthy diet, the recommended range for fat intake is approximately one third of total Calories.
The claim "Cholesterol-free" means that the product has a negligible amount (less than 2 mg of cholesterol in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table) and it is also low in saturated fat and trans fat.
“Free” is an amount of a nutrient so small that health experts consider it nutritionally insignificant. A “sodium-free” claim means the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts table contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
Reduced in Calories
“Reduced in Calories” has at least 25% less energy (Calories) than the food it is being compared to.
When referring to a nutritional characteristic of a product, “light” is allowed only on foods that are either “reduced in fat” or “reduced in energy” (Calories). “Light” can also be used to describe sensory characteristics of a food, provided that the characteristic is clearly identified with the claim (e.g., light tasting, light coloured).