Food and Drink Labels

Here’s how to label your food and drink products

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    What Must We Show in Food, Drink & Beverage Labels?

    Making healthier choices can be aided by knowledge of the ingredients in the foods and beverages we may consume. Food and drink products that are packed in containers, boxes, bottles, jars, bags, etc., frequently include labels with dietary and ingredient information.

    No one likes labels… unless it comes to food | FAO Stories | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    Keep reading to figure out what sorts of information might be displayed on food and beverage labeling and how to best evaluate it.

    Understanding the Nutrition Facts label

    On the majority of foods and beverages, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates a Nutrition Facts label.

    How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label | FDA

    The total number of servings in the package and the serving size for the food or beverage are listed at the top of the Nutrition Facts label.

    The number of calories that are generally consumed in one sitting is used to determine the serving size on the label; it does not serve as a guideline for how much food should be consumed.

    Identifying Dates on Food and Beverage Products

    These are three types of product dates that are popularly shown on the labels of foods and beverages:

    • The statement “Use by” indicates how long an item will be at its best. Some of the products may be outdated or less appetizing if you purchase or use them after that date.
    • When a product is marked “Best if used by” or “Best if used before”, it indicates how long the taste or quality will be at its best.
    • The “sell by” date indicates how long the manufacturer advises a retailer should keep products like meat, fruits, eggs, vegetables, or dairy products on the shelves. Ensure that you purchase by this time.

    In fact, manufacturers voluntarily add product dates; they are not obligated to do so by federal rules.

    Identifying Dates on Food and Beverage Products
    Considering Nutritional Value Percentage (% DV)

    Considering Nutritional Value Percentage (% DV)

    The percent Daily Value (% DV) indicates how much a given nutrient contributes to a daily 2,000-calorie diet in one serving of the food or beverage.

    Your % DV will be higher than what is indicated on the label if you consume one serving while consuming fewer calories per day than what is stated.

    To evaluate how a certain food or drink fits into your healthy diet plan, read the nutritional label in its full context.

    The Best Way to Read an Ingredient List

    The ingredients are listed separately and usually shown below the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and beverages.

    Every ingredient in the product is listed here along with its weight and popular or typical name. In other words, the item with the greatest weight is stated first, followed by the ingredient with the least weight.

    Consumers will usually see first the ingredients if there are allergens included.

    Ingredient List on food labels

    Should really I care about food and drink labels?

    If you understand what to search for, food and beverage labels can provide helpful information about a product.

    Warn you of any additives or allergens in the food and drink that you should avoid.

    By putting up information and warning signs that helped consumers, you may aid in protecting public health and safety.

    The food and drink labels must also include the following:

    • Net weight

    • Allergen declaration

    • Country of origin

    • Name and address

    • Batch number

    • Storage instructions

    Except for a few exclusions, such as a food takeaway or meals produced in front of you according to your order, these factors are generally required on manufactured food products and beverages and should be printed on the label.

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