A Legal Guide to Nutrition Claims

girl in supermarket reading food label off a food product

Adding nutrition claims to your food and beverage products can help you upsell them to consumers, build trust by being transparent, and differentiate your products from your competitors’. It’s worth noting, however, that most consumers seek out the nutrition facts label and make decisions based on the information it provides.

 What are Nutrition Claims Exactly?

A nutrition claim is a statement on a food label that promotes the nutritional value of a product. This could be anything from indicating that the food is high in protein or low in sugar, to making specific health claims about the product.

What are the Different Types of Nutrition Claims?

There are many different types of nutrition claims that you might see on a food label. Some of the most common ones include:

  1. “High in Protein” 
  • The food must contain 20% or more of the recommended DV per RACC. 
  • The DV for protein is 50g, so the RACC of the food must contain over 10g of protein to have the “High in Protein” nutrient content claim.
  1. “Low in Sugar”
  • The product must contain less than 5 g of sugar per 100 g, or 2.5 g of sugar per 100 ml.
  1. “Good source of Fiber”
  • Products that contain at least 10% of the daily value or 2.5 grams of fiber per serving can claim they are a “good source of fiber”.
  • Those containing at least 20% of the daily value of fiber or 5 grams or more of fiber per serving can label the product with a high fiber claim.

However, not all nutrition claims are created equal. In order to make a nutrition claim on a food label, the product must meet certain conditions set out by legislation. For example, any health claims (i.e. “Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease”) made about a product must be approved by the government before they can be used on a label.

Are there certain conditions to meet before making a Nutrition Claim?

Food manufacturers are not allowed to make any nutrition claims about their products if those products are high in fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, or salt (HFSS). This is because those ingredients can be harmful to the consumers’ health if eaten in large quantities.

This rule is in place to protect consumers, as it would be misleading for them to see a claim on a product that is high in unhealthy ingredients. It would give the impression that the food is healthy when it is not.

Some foods and beverages can make health claims, others cannot. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates what health claims can be made on food packaging. 

There are a few general rules that govern when a food or beverage can make a nutrition claim.

  1. The food or beverage must meet specific nutrient criteria. For example, it must contain at least 10% of the Daily Value of a particular nutrient. 
  1. The food or beverage cannot make any disease-related claim. For example, it cannot say that it “prevents cancer” or “aids in weight loss.” 
  1. The food or beverage must be properly labeled with all of the required information, including its ingredients and Nutrition Facts panel.

See How FoodLabelMaker Can Help You

Who Regulates Nutrition Claims?

There are a number of pieces of legislation that govern the claims that can be made about nutrition. The most important one is the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), which sets out the rules for what can and cannot be included on food labels. The FDCA specifically prohibits any health claims that have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In addition to the FDCA, there are a number of other pieces of legislation that govern nutrition claims. The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) requires that all food labels include certain information about the nutritional content of the food. This includes both mandatory nutrients (such as calories and fat) and voluntary nutrients (such as fiber and vitamin C). The NLEA also prohibits manufacturers from making any health claims that are not supported by scientific evidence.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for ensuring that all advertising is truthful and accurate. This includes advertising for food products. If the FTC determines that a nutrition claim is false or misleading, they can take action against the manufacturer.

So, what legislation governs nutrition claims? The FDCA, the NLEA, and the FTC all play a role in ensuring that claims about the nutritional content of food are accurate and truthful.

How Can “Food Label Maker” Help with Making Nutrition Claims?

Food Label Maker” is a powerful tool that can help you create accurate nutrition claims for your products. The software uses a unique nutrition algorithm to generate suggested nutrition claims based on the ingredients in your recipe and the quantities of those ingredients.

What’s more, “Food Label Maker” makes it easy to create nutrition claims that meet certain nutrient thresholds. This is important because it means that your product will meet the requirements of the relevant regulations.