In December 2014 the current law on nutritional labelling governing the food information supplied to the consumer came into force. This is Regulation 1169/2011 concerning the information that must be given to consumers on food products. Among other areas, it covers product labelling, what information must appear on the pack and how it must be presented.
While companies have until 13th December 2016 to bring all packs in line with these rules, here at Amandín we have already been working for several months on updating all the information on our packs to bring it in line with the new law on nutritional labelling.
But what is nutritional labelling?
Nutritional labelling helps us to see exactly what’s in any product we buy. It serves to tell the consumer about the nutritional properties of a foodstuff. And it must allow them to make an informed choice and use foodstuffs safely.
The label/pack for a product must include the name of the product, a description of it and its physical state or the processing it has undergone (powder, frozen, smoked, etc.). Under no circumstances can the product name be replaced by a trademark or advertising message. Nutritional labelling places a special emphasis on the health claims that appear on pack labels.
A health claim is a declaration that states, suggests or gives to understand that a foodstuff has beneficial nutritional properties because of the energy intake it provides and the nutrients or other substances it contains; i.e. that there is a link between the foodstuff and health.
In order to regulate such statements and the messages that appear on product labels, the European Union produced regulations governing the justification, advertising and presentation of health claims. The competent authority had recourse to food experts, consumer bodies and scientists. A solid scientific basis is necessary to be able to link food to health, and also to market products with claims of healthy properties.
A food can be considered functional when it is satisfactorily proven that, in addition to its nutritional effects, it has a beneficial effect on one or more bodily functions to improve one’s state of health or well-being.
– 25th October 2011: the European Parliament and Council passed Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011 on food information given to consumers.
– 12th December 2011: the Regulation came into force but was not applied until 13th December 2014 with the exception of the provisions concerning nutritional information, which were not be applied until 13th December 2016.
Consumers are increasingly demanding nutritional information. When we buy a product, we are more and more interested in understanding what the label says, where the ingredients come from, what it means when it says that a product “may contain traces of…” and so on. This is why manufacturers have to make the information that appears on products very clear.