Recently, the FDA proposed changes for serving size on Nutrition Facts Labels to better reflect new public health and scientific information. This proposed change is one of a few new proposals from the FDA regarding the content on the Nutrition Facts Label
The FDA introduced the Nutrition Facts Label 20 years ago, and what was considered a serving size then has changed over the last few decades. The proposed change hopes to reflect a more realistic serving size that is typically eaten at one time. This change will have an enormous impact on the food industry as well as for consumers who haven't seen a food label change of this magnitude since the addition of Trans Fat in 2006.
The Updated Serving Size Requirements would:
Change the serving size requirements to reflect how people eat and drink today, as opposed to 20 years ago when serving sizes were first established.
Require that packaged foods that are typically eaten in one sitting will be labeled as a single serving and that calorie and nutrient information be declared for the entire package.
Require that certain packages that are larger and can be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings provide a “dual column” label to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calories and nutritional information.
The FDA announced last night that they plan to phase out trans fat derived from partially hydrogenated oils in foods sold in the U.S. (This ruling is in regards to partially hydrogenated oils and does not affect trans fat that naturally occurs in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products.)
Their preliminary determination found that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food and that “further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year – a critical step in the protection of Americans’ health,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
Nearly a decade ago, the FDA implemented new labeling laws that included listing trans fat and since then many companies have been phasing them out of their foods; however, some processed foods such as ready-to-use frostings, microwave popcorns or pre-made doughs, still contain PHOs.
Because this initial ruling has been in effect for almost a decade, some industry experts expect that six months to a year should be enough time for manufacturers to make the change; however no timeline has yet been established by the FDA.
The agency has opened a 60-day comment period to collect information and input on the time needed for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain PHOs / artificial trans fat.
More information is available on the Federal Register notice or to submit comments by mail, send to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305) Food and Drug Administration 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061 Rockville, MD 20852
It seems gluten-free is everywhere these days. Most of us probably know at least one person who has taken gluten (a wheat protein) out of their diet, whether for medical reasons or as part of a diet-health craze. Personally, I know 3 people who are gluten-free because of celiac disease. I have, myself, experimented with removing gluten from my diet because of suspicions about digestion issues when I eat certain foods.
It’s on nearly every product we buy through a retailer: the black and white striped rectangle with a bunch of numbers under it – a UPC code. You see it every day, but do you know what it is? And if you are a start-up food company, do you need to have one on your labels?