New Nutrition Facts Label for Potatoes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released revisions to the Nutrition Facts Label which has graced the back of packaged foods for more than 20 years. The revisions reflect recent advances in nutrition knowledge and are designed to better help consumers make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families.
The new label requirements are mostly good news for potatoes, particularly the required inclusion of potassium as it will increase awareness of this important nutrient and highlight the content of potatoes (particularly relative to other foods). That being said, the FDA has made adjustments to their Recommended Daily Value of many nutrients, including several that appear on the potato nutrition label. This will change the percentage of Daily Value listed on the label for those below:
- Fiber: 7% (previously 8%)
- Calcium: 2% (previously 2%)
- Iron: 6% (previously 6%)
- Potassium: 13% (previously 18%)
- Vitamin C: 30% (previously 45%)
- Vitamin B6: 12% (previously 10%)
None of these changes impact the “claims” that can be made in terms of “a good or excellent source of”, however any callouts on packaging will need to be adjusted to reflect these new Daily Value percentages.
Other notable changes to the new label include:
- A slightly re-tooled design to better emphasize calories by making the font larger and bolder.
- Serving sizes that more closely reflect what people actually consume today. Serving sizes will now be based on the “reference amount customarily consumed” or RACC. For multi-serving food products that could either be consumed in one or multiple sittings, a dual column label with be used to indicate the nutrition information “per serving” and “per package.”
- Inclusion of “added sugars” in both grams and percent daily value (% DV) to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, less than 10% of total calories should come from added sugars.
- The substitution of vitamins A and C with potassium and vitamin D in both milligrams and % DV. Iron and calcium will remain. This change reflects the fact that potassium and vitamin D were identified as “nutrients of concern” in 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Updated % DVs for sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D that are consistent with the Institute of Medicine recommendations and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Removal of “calories from fat;” based on research indicating that the type of fat is more important than the amount. Nonetheless, “total fat,” “trans fats” and “saturated” fat will remain.
Most food manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply with the new rules.
To download the new nutrition label for potatoes please go to: http://growers.potatoesusa.com/resources/nutrition-labels