On May 20, 2016, the FDA (USA) announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. The world has been a gong show ever since. 😜
There are a bunch of changes, but the major ones in terms of labeling are:
- Remove Vitamin A
- Remove Vitamin C
- Add Potassium
- Add Vitamin D
- Add "Added Sugars"
What does it all mean? Well - it's complicated. In November 2018 the FDA published an article titled Guidance for Industry: Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels Questions and Answers Related to the Compliance Date, Added Sugars, and Declaration of Quantitative Amounts of Vitamins and Minerals. It includes a link to a PDF document that you can review as to what is and is not considered an added sugar, as well as many pages on how to calculate added sugars, etc. This is the latest "guidance" (as of November 2018) to be provided to manufacturers in this regard.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: For the purpose of Recipe Cost Calculator, our software implementation for Added Sugars at this point is extremely simple. In the definition for an Ingredient, you may now specify whether or not the ingredient should be considered an Added Sugar.
Recipe Cost Calculator currently has no way of knowing if ingredients that you use that are finished products (for example, jams, ice cream, yogurt, etc.) have added sugar in them. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you review all the ingredients you use to ensure that:
- Ingredients in your account that are "Added Sugars" identify themselves as such.
- You carefully examine ingredients in your account that may contain added sugars to ensure that you are not incorrectly reporting the "Added Sugars" value on your nutrition labels.
We may consider adding additional fields to Ingredients in the future to help with this (for example, we are considering adding a field like "Added sugars per 100 grams" that will be required to be filled in by the person creating the ingredients). If you are not confident in the accuracy of your labels, it may be best to continue to use the old nutrition label format until the USDA database offers additional data on added sugars, or until we implement a more robust solution.
If your raw ingredients do not include manufactured ingredients that contain added sugars, our current software solution should work very well for you. You should be able to generate extremely accurate nutrition labels, including for the Added Sugars field.
The FDA extended the compliance dates for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts label final rule and the Serving Size final rule, from July 26, 2018 to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales would receive an extra year to comply – until January 1, 2021. [source]