Updated Nutrition Labelling Regulations
On December 14, 2016, Health Canada published updated Food and Drug Regulations – Nutrition Labelling, Other Labelling Provisions and Food Colours, in Canada Gazette, Part II. These revised Regulations for food labelling will complement the recent release of Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy (October, 2016), and will help consumers make more informed (and presumably, healthier) food choices.
Several major changes to all Canadian food labels have been outlined in the new Regulations:
The Nutrition Facts Table (NFT), which is a mandatory component of most pre-packaged foods, will undergo several key changes, as follows:
- Implementation of a requirement to make serving size more consistent on similar foods, so that consumers can easily compare products;
- Introduction of a new percent Daily Value (%DV) for sugars
- A footnote that explains how to use the % DV (<5% is a little, >15% is a lot)
- An updated list of nutrients that must appear in the bottom portion of the NFT.
The ingredient listing will also see a number of important updates:
- Formatting changes, to allow increased legibility for both the list of ingredients, and allergen information;
- Grouping of sugars-based ingredients under the common name “sugars”;
- Declaration of food colours by their individual common names.
A new health claim for certain fruits and vegetables: A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Health Canada has allowed a five-year implementation period for adapting to the new Regulations, which will give suppliers time to use up existing printed labels. However, as all food labels in Canada will be required to change to meet the new Regulations, we recommend taking a proactive approach to ensuring compliance.
Connect with Source to start planning a timeline for updating your product labels, and ask us about product testing services to support the new requirements for nutrient declaration within the Nutrition Facts Table as well!