In FDA regulations, Food labeling, Food manufacturing, Nutrition facts labels, Nutritional analysis

Why Accuracy Matters on a Nutrition Label

How simply changing only one ingredient can completely change the nutrition reporting on your nutrition label and put you in danger of a product recall. 

 

Ingredient List Changes Alter the Nutrition of Your Product

Let’s be honest, nutrition labeling done correctly can be expensive right? I know what you’re thinking, a whole new nutrition label for a flavor difference, what gives? 

Well, to be transparent, it’s not the label itself that’s the issue, it’s the reporting for the nutrition analysis that requires the need for an entirely new label. Changing the flavor causes the ingredient list to vary and because each ingredient has its own nutrient makeup, it will impact the number calculations for those big and small nutrients on your nutrition facts label. And when dealing with FDA compliance and checking off the list of criteria to bring your product to retail, a recall due to lack of accuracy is the last thing you want to encounter. 

Side By Side Comparison

Let’s jump right in to see the reason behind the need for individual reporting and a new label for each product, even for a flavor change. We will begin by doing a side by side comparison using a popular yogurt brand using two of their flavors : vanilla yogurt with cashew butter and vanilla yogurt with almond butter.

nutrition label comparison

A single ingredient change in your recipe can completely change the reporting on your nutrition label.

If we begin by looking at the ingredient list, we can consider the argument of “but it’s only ONE ingredient”. Yes, one ingredient has changed but can you also see the impact that it has upon those numbers on the nutrition label? As you can see, the reporting has changed drastically with a quick switch of cashew butter for almond butter. Out of 17 nutrient counts that could potentially change on a nutrition label, 7 were altered by only one ingredient

FDA Regulations

Taking this new knowledge in consideration, let’s add the FDA factor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires accurate nutrition reporting and ingredient lists for each individual product regardless of how similar the products can be. The example above is precisely why. When bringing a product to retail in the food industry there is a laundry list of items that must be checked off to make sure you are compliant with FDA regulations. One item in particular pertains to the accuracy of your nutrition facts label

If you are a manufacturer with a product line that has multiple flavors, hopefully, you are beginning to see why it really is necessary to have a unique nutrition label with it’s own analysis performed for each product. 

Your product could be the same serving size, use the same ingredient list with one varying across each product and it will completely change the nutrition information of the product. Why? Because each ingredient placed within a product has it’s own macro-nutrient and micro-nutrient makeup.

Quick Vocabulary Lesson

A macronutrient sounds like a really magnificent word but if you break it down, “macro” is the greek word for “large” and nutrient, well, is self-explanatory. So when you put those terms together, we are referring to “big nutrients”.  On a nutrition label, these “big nutrients” would include total fat, total carbohydrate, and protein. 

When you break down the word “micronutrient” in a similar fashion, we have “micro” which means small and our self-explanatory word “nutrient” again. So where are these “small nutrients” on a nutrition facts label? They can be found in the vitamins and minerals listing at the base of the food label. Some of these micronutrients would include vitamin a, vitamin cvitamin d, iron and calcium, to name a few. 

Wrapping Up

It might seem like no big deal, but as we have just learned, one ingredient can make a world of a difference. And in the long run, is an extra label really as pricey as a product recall? Accurate nutrition reporting for all of your products is vitally important for not only your FDA compliance and accuracy in nutrition reporting but your bottom line as well. 

 

Want to save yourself a product recall and ensure you have accurate nutrition reports and correct micro and macronutrient counts for your nutrition labels? 

 

LabelCalc is the industry leading software for all things regarding nutrition analysis and nutrition labeling. Without a single recall in over 15 years of service, we can guarantee that you will be satisfied with the quality of your reporting and food labeling, every time. Contact us today.

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