Nutritional Labeling


In May 2016, the FDA announced several changes to its nutritional labeling regulation that will impact bakers.

Vitamin D and potassium are now considered nutrients of health concern by many health agencies; it is therefore now mandatory to declare their content in the Nutrition Fact Table, while Vitamin C and A declarations are no longer compulsory. In the case of Vitamin D in particular, the NHANES nationwide food consumption surveys revealed that Americans don’t always get enough. Vitamin D intake is considered inadequate for more than 75% of Americans, averaging 150 IU (4 μg)/day when the recommended daily intake should be 800 IU (20μg).

New Daily Values

For the first time since the implementation of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the Daily Value (DV) for most vitamins will change. The DVs used for the current nutrition labels are based on the 1968 National Academy of Sciences RDAs for most vitamins and minerals! Daily values for sodium and Vitamin D are being updated based on newer scientific evidence from the Institute of Medicine and other reports such as the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, which was used in developing the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. More specifically, the daily values for Vitamin D for the general population is being increased from 400 (10 μg) to 800 IU (20 μg).

New Measurement Units

The measurement units used in nutrition labeling for some vitamins will also change. For example, in addition to percent Daily Value of Vitamin D, manufacturers will now have to declare on the label the actual amount in micrograms (μg) instead of in International Unit (IU). Forty (40) IU of Vitamin D equals to 1 μg of Vitamin D.

The percent Daily Value (% DV) of each mandatory nutrient must appear on the Nutrition Fact Table. This will help consumers understand the nutritional content of a food product in the context of their total daily diet and allow nutrient comparisons between foods.

Food manufacturers calculate this percentage by dividing the amount declared on the label for each nutrient by the Daily Reference Value (DRV) for that nutrient. If the declared amount for a product is zero, the declared percent Daily Value will also be zero.

For bread, since most of the ingredients entering the composition of a standard bread formulation do not contain any Vitamin D, bakers who want to avoid having a 0% DV for Vitamin D on their label, will have no choice but to turn to fortification.

New Serving Sizes

By law, serving sizes must be based on amounts of foods and beverages that people are actually consuming, not what they should be eating. The quantity that people eat and drink has changed since the previous serving size requirements were published in 1993.

For the Bakery products category, the Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs) of “bagels, toaster pastries, and muffin (excluding English muffins)” was increased from 55 to 110g. The RACC for bread is now 50 g and therefore depending on the weight of your slice of bread, the serving size for breads could be “1 slice (50 g)” or “2 slices (50g).