Learn about food labelling and how it is done | 24 Mantra

Food Labelling: A Link Between Manufacturer and Consumer


Food Labelling: A Link Between Manufacturer and Consumer

Health and Nutrition

food label:

For a person who does not read labels the amount of stuff written on the package may seem like a lot of jargon and difficult to understand. The food label is the mode by which a manufacturer of the food product conveys important information about the product to the consumer. It is the means of communication between the manufacturer and the consumer.

What is a food label?

The internationally accepted definition of a food label is any tag, brand, mark, pictorial or other descriptive matter, written, printed, stencilled, marked, embossed or impressed on, or attached to, a container of food or food product. This information, which includes items such as ingredients, quality and nutritional value, can accompany the food or be displayed near the food to promote its sale.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is the body that establishes international food label standards.

Nutrition labelling

Lifestyle diseases are the main reasons why nutrition labelling has become important. Most food packages carry them. In recent times people have become more aware of the relation between diet and lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Nutrition labelling helps the consumer to make the right choice while buy foods. Even for the manufacturer, it is the right platform to present their product’s nutritional value and food label.

Ingredient list

List of ingredients on the food label is mandatory if a food has more than one ingredient. The food manufacturer should list all the ingredients in descending order by weight. The ingredient which is in the largest amount in that product should appear first on the food label and one which is used in the smallest amount should come last. For example, in a particular digestive biscuit whole wheat flour (60%) appears first and last the spice, nutmeg, which is least in amount.

Why is the ingredient list important in a food label?

The ingredient list on the food label is very important for people with food allergies and food intolerances. This set of people who are sensitive to certain ingredients need to know what is put into foods. It is imperative for them. It could be gluten or egg protein or an additive which they may not be able to tolerate. It is also important for some people of their religious affinities or other issues who do not want certain ingredients in their food label.

Health claims

Some food components are advantageous to certain organs of the body. For example, calcium is related to bone density or strength.  There are rules and regulations on how these health claims should be backed by scientific evidence etc and how they should be worded. This also helps people to choose the food that suits them.

Food labels are tools to help us make the right choice!

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