Food labelling is a very huge and complex subject, but as we all know the laws which are concerning it are changing constantly. Sometimes a seemingly straight forward product description can be misleading. Most of the time the products contains name of a particular ingredient which is followed by word flavour but the product does not have to contain that particular ingredient. For example, if a drink named as orange flavour does not have to contain real oranges in it. However many packaged foods carry many nutritional claims such as low fat; sugar free and not just this but also claim that they are best in a healthy way just like it is said that it can reduce cholesterol as a part of a low fat diet.
So the ingredients are listed in order of weight and the percentage of quantities that are of main ingredients which are now included. Ingredients do not have to be listed if they are a part of another ingredient which makes up to 25-30 percent age of the total product. Even the flavouring on these products should be mentioned but not particularly by the name on it. And the most important problem here, which is not looked after is that the manufactures always have a habit of using technical terms for the particular ingredients which they do not want to show or highlight. Just like these ingredients include sugar which is here described as honey, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, glucose and syrups. Therefore, it makes difficult to add up the actual total content of sugar in the product.
The new regulations here require a statement of the energy, protein, carbohydrate and fat content, as well as sugars, saturates, fibre and sodium. However, information about additional nutrients, such as selected vitamins and minerals, is optional, and is usually declared only if 100 gram of the product contains at least 15 percent of the recommended daily amount.
Claim on food products labelling and what does that mean is as follows:-
1.Reduced calorie or low calorie means less than 40 calories per 100 gram per serving.
2.Reduced fat, low fat or fat free means less than 5-0.5 gram fat per 100 gram of per serving.
3.Reduced saturates or low saturates means 5 gram per serving.
4.Reduced sugar, low sugar means 5-0.5 gram per serving.
5.Sugar free or no sugar means 0.2 gram per 100 gram or no added sugar.
6.High fibre means 6 gram per serving or we can say per 100 gram.
7.Source of fibre means 3 gram per serving or per 100 gram.
8.Reduced sodium or low sodium means 40 mg per serving or per 100 gram.
9.No sodium here means less than 5 mg per 100 gram.
When choosing packaged products, read the labels carefully. Always pay special attention to how much fat, sugar and sodium the food contains. The date after which the product cannot be eaten or should not be sold is the date usually stamped so always look for it before buying.