Food & Nutrition labelling FAQs

By Anne Betty – AB Food Nutrition

Anne Betty AB Food Nutrition FDMB North West

When I speak with small food businesses or food start-ups, there are some common questions that tend to crop up, so I thought it might be useful to share some of these with you:

Do I have to include everything in the ingredients list?

Yes, you have to label every ingredient in descending order of weight, preceded by a heading or the word ‘ingredients’. The exception is for processing aids. If a component of a raw material you are using does not have a function in your final product then it is a processing aid and need not be declared. If one of your materials however is a compound ingredient, then you must list this immediately followed by a list of it’s sub-ingredients which is usually done using brackets.

Can I say on the label that my product is healthy?

Stating that a food or drink product is ‘healthy’ is a generic health claim and therefore in scope of the nutrition & health claims regulations. You would need to accompany this claim with a specific authorised health claim to explain why the product is beneficial to health. There are then additional statements that must also appear on the label stating the importance of a varied & balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, the quantity to be consumed to obtain the benefit and warning of the risks if consumed to excess and if the food or drink should be avoided by anyone eg. children.

How do I calculate the QUID (Quantitative Ingredient Declaration)?

This is based on the amount of the ingredient (that characterises the food or is emphasised on the label) that is added at mixing bowl stage divided by the weight of all the ingredients and multiplied by 100 to provide the percentage. For cooked foods that have lost moisture, the ingredient amount should be divided by the weight of the final cooked batch weight/finished product instead. If the QUID value exceeds 100%, for example in cooked ham with 104% pork, then instead of a % you include the statement ‘prepared with 104g pork per 100g of cooked ham.

Anne Betty is a freelance registered nutritionist and the owner of AB Food Nutrition and will be exhibiting at Food and Drink Means Business Live on September 27th