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Nutrition facts label

The nutrition facts label (also known as the nutrition information panel, and other slight variations) is a label required on most packaged food in many countries.

Most countries also release overall nutrition guides for general educational purposes. In some cases, the guides are based on different dietary targets for various nutrients than the labels on specific foods.

Australia and New Zealand use a nutritional information panel of the following format:

Servings per package:

Serving size: g

Other items are included as appropriate, and the units may be varied as appropriate (e.g. substituting ml for g, or mmol for mg in the 'Sodium' row). In April 2013 the New Zealand government introduced rules around common claims made on food packaging, such as 'low in fat'.

In Canada, a standardized "Nutrition Facts" label was introduced as part of regulations passed in 2003, and became mandatory for most prepackaged food products on December 12, 2005. (Smaller businesses were given until December 12, 2007 to make the information available.). In accordance with food packaging laws in the country, all information, including the nutrition label, must be written in both English and French, the country's two official languages.

Canadian regulation tightly controls the manner in which the nutrition fact table (NFT) data are laid out. There is a wide variety of possible formats for use on a given food package. A selection hierarchy is used to select among the many formats (28 main formats, and 2-7 sub formats for each). This results in standard (vertical) formats being considered for use before horizontal and linear formats. The selection hierarchy also allows the NFT to occupy no more than 15% of the physical package's available display area (ADS), but never to be smaller than a format that would be <=15% of ADS. In practice, determining the ADS of a package, and selecting the appropriate NFT format, can be a detailed calculation.

It was regulated by the Commission Directive 2008/100/EC of 28 October 2008 amending Council Directive 90/496/EEC on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs as regards recommended daily allowances, energy conversion factors and definitions. A new regulation is now in force (Regulation 1169/2011). Nutritional labelling becomes mandatory for most pre-packaged foods as from December 2016.

In the European Union, along the "old" rules (Directive 90/496, amended), the information (usually in panel format) is most often labelled "Nutrition Information" (or equivalent in other EU languages). An example is shown on the right. The panel is optional, but if provided, the prescribed content and format must be followed. It will always give values for a set quantity — 100 g (3.5 oz) or 100 ml (3.5 imp fl oz; 3.4 US fl oz) of the product — and often also for a defined "serving", as an option. First will come the energy values, in both kilocalories and kilojoules.


Servings per package:

Serving size: g

Quantity per Serving Quantity per 100 g
Energy 0 kJ (Cal)
Protein 0 g
Fat, total 0 g
  - saturated 0 g
Carbohydrate g g
  - sugars g g
Sodium mg mg
Nutrient Daily Value
for label
highest RDA
of DRI
Vitamin A 5,000 3,000 IU
Vitamin C 60 90 mg
Calcium 1,000 1,300 mg
Iron 18 18 mg
Vitamin D 400 600 IU
Vitamin E 30 IU 15 mg (33
IU synthetic)
Vitamin K 80 120 μg
Thiamin 1.5 1.2 mg
Riboflavin 1.7 1.3 mg
Niacin 20 16 mg
Vitamin B6 2 1.7 mg
Folate 400 400 μg
Vitamin B12 6 2.4 μg
Biotin 300 30 μg
Pantothenic acid 10 5 mg
Phosphorus 1,000 1,250 mg
Iodine 150 150 μg
Magnesium 400 420 mg
Zinc 15 11 mg
Selenium 70 55 μg
Copper 2 0.9 mg
Manganese 2 2.3 mg
Chromium 120 35 μg
Molybdenum 75 45 μg
Chloride 3,400 2,300 mg



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