Have you ever wondered just how food companies are supposed to come up with their nutrition facts labels? How they can turn their product recipes into nutrition facts statistics, calorie counts, vitamin content, etc.? If you’re curious like me, you might be interested to read what I found out about how to create a nutrition facts panel.
The Science Behind the Stats
In order to come up with nutritional facts, food manufacturers have to analyze the ingredients in their products. They can do so by giving a list of ingredients and measurements to a food scientist or by inputting data about ingredients and measurements into a nutritional database. Both of these options ultimately work to produce information for Nutrition Facts Panels.
- Using a Nutritional Database – This option calculates the nutritional content of a food item by entering data into a database that already contains an analysis of ingredients. This is a much easier process because the data is readily available. It is also less expensive option of the two. However, some foods cannot be analyzed this way.
- Getting a Lab Analysis– There are certain food items that can only be determined by lab analysis, including fried, salted, and coated foods. This is because ingredients in these foods are difficult to determine and a more thorough analysis must be conducted. Lab analysis must follow strict FDA protocol for each ingredient and can become very time consuming, ultimately leading it to be very costly.
What Are Some Resources to Get Nutrition Facts for Your Food Products?
Compu-Food Analysis, Inc.: Compu-Food uses their extensive database and food science experience to calculate accurate Nutrition Facts for consumers. This is based on the nutrition facts of each contributing ingredient and their percentage use in your formula. These nutrition facts are totaled and factored with your particular processing procedures, enabling them to create an accurate assessment for the resulting nutrition facts of your finished product. If your recipe information is not available, they are also able to complete a laboratory analysis.
NutraData: NutriData is a top food industry source for nutrition analysis, food labeling and label compliance. NutriData prides themselves in helping businesses succeed in today’s competitive marketplace by mentoring you with their expertise on nutritional labeling. They guarantee 100% FDA compliant labels.
Does the FDA Approve Nutrition Facts Panels?
The FDA does not proactively certify your company’s nutrition facts panels. Instead, the FDA simply establishes a standard set of information that must be provided on the nutrition facts panels. If the FDA finds that a company is inaccurately or improperly reporting its nutrition facts (usually discovered as a result of a “spot check” by the FDA or a report of an inaccuracy), the FDA will require a product recall.
Having correct and accurate nutritional analyses is important in order to avoid recalling your products from store shelves, which can become very expensive.
To reassure yourself that you are putting the correct information on your food products labels you may want to consider the services of a label consultant. In a previous blog, “How To Find an FDA Labeling Consultant”, we gave some tips on where to look and how a consultant can help you. This may not be a perfect fit for everyone, but it can be a good option to learn firsthand how to set up your products label to know it is FDA compliant – especially if you’re just starting your business.
How Do I Create and Print a Nutrition Facts Panel For My Label?
Back in the spring we posted a blog that touched on how to create nutrition labels. QuickLabel Systems offers our Custom QuickLabel® software and NiceLabel® software for our label printers. This software is capable of letting you make your own nutrition labels.
If you are looking for software that will generate the nutrition facts panels for you based on your ingredients, you may want to skim through our “Create Nutrition Facts Panels with Nutrition Labeling Software” blog for some tips and recommendations on software companies that can help you!