Food Label News
July 2018 - Volume 18, Number 7

Happy Summer from Food Label News. Between BBQs and pool parties, take a look at when it's best to use lab or database analysis in this month's lead article. And if you're thinking about an entrepreneurial venture, read on to learn what's needed to label food for Internet sales. Dig in and let us know what you think in the Food Label Community on LinkedIn.

In this issue:



Karen C. Duester, President, Food Consulting Company

Feature Article

When it comes to determining the nutrition profile for your food, FDA does not require a specific method of analysis to determine values that are displayed within the Nutrition Facts label. The industry relies on one of three methods to generate the nutrition values:

  1. Database analysis is based on your product formulation, raw material specifications and processing information. For those raw materials that are commodity ingredients, database analysis uses the statistical average that varies with growing conditions, seasonality, location and other factors.
  2. Lab analysis is a snapshot of nutrient values for a single sample, representing a single point in time. As a result, be cautious when using lab testing to determine Nutrition Facts label values and consider multiple testing points throughout the year to capture variability in your ingredients and process.
  3. A combination of database and lab analysis can be used to verify a claim or cross check results, when the situation warrants.

How do you know when to use each approach?

The database method is typically a better predictor of nutrient values across multiple production runs versus a single laboratory test from one production run.

There are certain situations when we recommend laboratory analysis in addition to database analysis to create robust values for your Nutrition Facts label: 1) when there are unique ingredients for which nutrition data is not available, 2) when processing changes the nutrient composition and the changes cannot be confidently predicted, and 3) as a tool to validate nutrition and health claims, especially vitamins that are effected by heat and storage.

Bullseye: Beware - how one performs database analysis affects the validity of the results. A properly performed database analysis requires attention to every detail: vetting raw material specification sheets, understanding and correctly accounting for processing changes, impeccable data entry and general knowledge of food and nutrient values. Taking care to manage these critical details will ensure accurate, reliable results that can withstand scrutiny by regulators and consumers alike.

Food Label Community
Reader Q+A
Q. I'm planning to shift the sales of my BBQ sauce from farmers' markets to the Internet. Are there specific labeling requirements I need to consider? 
— J.R., Texas, Food Manufacturer
A. There are no special requirements for Internet sales. By law, all foods sold in the U.S. must be in full compliance with FDA retail labeling requirements as specified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, regardless of the method of sale.


Client Comments

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— Glen Elliott, President, King of Kiwi


Food Consulting Company
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Food Consulting Company, founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support for more than 1,500 clients worldwide.
Our guarantee: 100% regulatory compliance.

Food Label News, now in its 18th year, is a monthly e-newsletter reaching over 10,000 subscribers around the world. We cover news and insights about what matters most in food labels and welcome your question for a future Reader Q+A.



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