"Nutrition Facts" panels found on food products in the United States are not legally required for most small producers. However, they are requested by many distributors and customers. The FBNS Extension Program offers assistance with nutritional labeling.
Click here for specific FDA rules on labeling.
How are "Nutrition Facts" calculated?
The "Nutrition Facts" panel for a food label can use data from two sources: nutritional analysis or a nutrient database.
Nutritional analysis is when several lots of food are sampled and analyzed in a laboratory. For certain products, this is the only appropriate method. Another way is to calculate the nutritional content using a nutrient database where nutrient analyses on a variety of ingredients is stored in a computer database. Only the second method is available from this department.
Should I have my product analyzed or should I use a database calculation?
Calculation of nutritional data from a database is usually the easiest and least expensive. The information you provide to the department is entered into the computer to combine these analyses and produce a Nutrition Facts panel for your product.
Laboratory analysis of products for nutritional data is more expensive and time consuming. It requires that the product be properly sampled according to FDA protocol and analyzed by chemical methods. In some products such as fried, salted or coated products, the amounts of ingredients are difficult to determine and a laboratory analysis would be necessary.
What if my ingredient does not appear in the database?
Sometimes, an ingredient may not appear in our database. In this case, you will need to contact the supplier of the ingredient for a "nutrient analysis per 100 grams." This data will then be entered into the computer. The Nutrition Facts panel from your ingredient will not suffice for this purpose.
How do I get FBNS assistance with a nutrition label?
You will need to complete and submit an ONLINE REQUEST FORM with detailed information about your product. We will need a complete list of ingredients and quantities, along with your contact information. We will contact you with any questions or clarifications. Please send in your payment after submitting the form. Fees are listed on the request form.
If you have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at 919.513.2090.
The information collected on our form is for the purpose of classification and nutritional labeling only. However, we will maintain your product information on the computer, under password protection, for a short time in case you request changes or modifications.