On May 20, 2016, the FDA announced that it finalized changes to the Nutrition Facts panel on the labels of packaged foods and beverages, as well as changes to the Supplement Facts panel on the labels of dietary supplements. The final regulations were published in the Federal Register on May 27, 2016. The final version of the revisions to regulations pertaining to the nutrition information are on the FDA website, as well as the final version of the revisions to the regulations pertaining to serving sizes and the Recommended Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACC). The FDA website also contains summaries and information links for the new revisions, including examples of the new format for the Nutrition Facts panel and side by side comparisons.
The following is a brief overview of the major changes:
- The type size for “Calories” is substantially larger on the new panels.“Servings per Container” and “Serving size” declarations are also larger and will be required to be in boldface type to highlight this information.
- Manufacturers must declare the actual amount and Daily Value percentage of vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium. They can voluntarily declare the gram amount for other vitamins and minerals.
- The new footnote will read “*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”
Changes Reflecting New Science
- “Added sugars,” in grams and as percent Daily Value, will be included on the label. The new Daily Reference Value for added sugars is 50g.
- Vitamin D and potassium will now be required on the label, while Vitamins A and C are moved to voluntary status.
- “Calories from Fat” are no longer required.
- Daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D have been changed to reflect new science.
Serving Sizes and Labeling Requirements for Certain Package Sizes
- Serving sizes for various products have been changed to reflect more realistic eating habits.For example, the RACC or serving size for ice cream has changed from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup and the serving size or RACC for beverages has changed from 8 fluid ounces to 12 fluid ounces.
- Everything up to 200% of the RACC will be required to be identified as a single serving container.
The revised regulations become effective July 26, 2016. Manufacturers with annual food sales of $10 million or more will need to use the new label by July 26, 2018. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply.