A Food Labeling Guide: Chapter 5.3 - Nutrition Labeling ΓΈ Calorie Counter
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A Food Labeling Guide: Chapter 5.3 - Nutrition Labeling

<< Chapter 5.2: Nutrition Labeling | A Food Labeling Guide | Chapter 6.1: Claims >>

5.31. Should a label show "2-1/2 servings"?
For packages containing from two to five servings, round the number of servings to the nearest 1/2 serving.

Examples: "2 servings," "2-1/2 servings," "3 servings," "3-1/2 servings," "4 servings," "4-1/2 servings," and "5 servings."

For packages containing five or more servings, round the number of servings to the nearest whole serving.

Examples: "5 servings," "6 servings," "7 servings." Rounding should be indicated by the term "about" (e.g., "about 6 servings").

21 CFR 101.9(b)(8)
5.32. Are there limits on the size of a package that may be labeled as a "single serving"?
Products that are packaged and sold individually are considered to be single servings if they contain less than 200% of the reference amount shown in 21 CFR 101.12. For packages that contain 200% or more of the reference amount, it is the manufacturer's option to label the product as a single serving if the entire contents can reasonably be eaten at one time.

21 CFR 101.9(b)(6)
5.33. What is the smallest amount of food that may be labeled as two servings?
The answer depends on the size of the reference amount. For foods with reference amounts less than 100g (solid foods) or 100mL (liquids), packages must contain at least 200% of the reference amount to be labeled as 2 servings. For foods with reference amounts of 100g or 100mL or more, you may choose to label packages containing more than 150% but less than 200% of the reference amount as either one or two servings.

21 CFR 101.9(b)(6). Reference amounts 21 CFR 101.12(b)
5.34. Should a value of 47 calories be "rounded up" to 50 calories or "rounded down" to 45 calories?
Calories must be shown as follows:

50 calories or less--Round to nearest 5-calorie increment:

Example: Round 47 calories to "45 calories"

Above 50 calories--Round to nearest 10-calorie increment:

Example: Round 96 calories to "100 calories"

21 CFR 101.9(c)(1)
5.35. What is "total fat"?
To determine the total fat content of a food, add the weight in grams of all "lipid fatty acids" in the food (e.g., lauric, palmitic, stearic fatty acids) and express as triglycerides.

Total fat = Weight of all individual fatty acids + weight of one unit of glycerol for each three fatty acids

21 CFR 101.9(c)(2)
5.36. What fractions are used for "total fat" on the "Nutrition Facts" label?
  • Below 0.5 grams total fat per serving: Use the declaration "0 g" for total fat.
  • 0.5 grams to 5 grams total fat: Use 1/2 gram increments rounded to the nearest 1/2 gram.
  • Above 5 grams: Use 1 gram increments rounded to the nearest 1 gram (do not use fractions above 5 grams).
21 CFR 101.9(c)(2)
5.37. How is "total carbohydrate" calculated?
"Total carbohydrate" is calculated by subtracting the weight of crude protein, total fat, moisture, and ash from the total weight ("wet weight") of the sample of food.

21 CFR 101.9(c)(6)
5.38. What is meant by "sugars" on the "Nutrition Facts" label?
To calculate "sugars" for the nutrition label, determine the weight in grams of all free monosaccharides and disaccharides in the sample of food. The other nutrients declared on the nutrition label are defined in 21 CFR 101.9(c).

21 CFR 101.9(c)(6)(ii)
5.39. How many samples must be analyzed to determine the nutrient levels for a product?
The number of samples to analyze for each nutrient is determined by the variability of each nutrient in a food. Fewer analytical samples are generally required for nutrients that are less variable. The variables that affect nutrient levels should be determined, and a sampling plan should be developed to encompass these variables.
5.40. Is there a problem with using ingredient composition data bases to calculate the values for nutrition labeling?
Manufacturers are responsible for nutrition labeling values on their products. If manufacturers choose to use ingredient data bases, they should be assured of the accuracy of the databases and validate the resulting calculations by comparing them with values for the same foods obtained from laboratory analyses. Manufacturers are responsible for the accuracy of the nutrition labeling values on their products. Although FDA specifies the laboratory methods that will be used to evaluate the accuracy of the labeled products, FDA does not specify acceptable sources for the labeled values.
5.41. What values are used for calculating Daily Values for the nutrition label?
<< Chapter 5.2: Nutrition Labeling | A Food Labeling Guide | Chapter 6.1: Claims >>



Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
A Food Labeling Guide, September 1994 (Editorial revisions June, 1999)

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