Food & Agro-industriesFormulationQualityTechnical data sheets

Guide to calculating US Nutrition Facts for your labels

By 2 February 2021October 8th, 2021No Comments

Calculating the US Nutrition Facts – the American equivalent to our European nutrition tables – is an essential step in bringing a product into compliance with American standards, but it can be complex.

In May 2016, the Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) in the USA changed the legislation regarding the display of nutritional information, to better combat diet-related pathologies, in particular obesity and cardiovascular diseases. The idea is to allow a better understanding of this information by the consumer to allow a better informed choice, as well as to update the nutritional information in the light of the latest scientific studies1.

beCPG automatically generates Nutrition Facts for your products for the US market in their new format. Some manufacturers had until January 1st, 2021 to take these changes into account, which are now mandatory for almost all food products.

The Canadian Nutrition Facts are also available on beCPG. To read our article on the Evolution of Nutrition Facts in Canada, click here.

What changes on your labels?

The points affected by the changes are as follows:

  • The recommended serving size display appears larger, and the reference amounts have been updated;
  • Changed calorie formatting (enlarged font size, underlined with a thick line);
  • Update of the daily values of nutrient requirements (equivalent to our European RDI);
  • Addition of the amounts of added sugars and their percentage of daily recommendation. However, the daily recommendation percentage for total sugars is still not mandatory;
  • Removal of vitamins A and C, sufficiently consumed in the USA;
  • Addition of potassium and vitamin D, too little consumed in the USA;
  • Addition of amounts in mg for micro-nutrients;
  • Addition of a footnote explaining the principle of daily values, and deletion of the table summarizing the recommended nutritional intakes.

Generation of Nutrition Facts in beCPG

From the product area of a collaborative site, select a finished product. Then select the “Technical sheet” list, and then click on the toothed wheel located in the options strip.

Finally, select the English-United States language to generate the US Nutrition Facts.

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What information for my Nutrition Facts in the USA?

American Nutrition Facts are to be distinguished from Canadian Nutrition Facts, nor do they present the same list of nutrients as the European Nutrition Declaration.

In order to generate Nutrition Facts compliant with the USA, it is necessary that the necessary information is present in the “Nutrients” list of your entities (Raw material, Semi-finished, Finished product).

The comparative table below summarizes the mandatory and optional nutrients on nutrition labeling in the USA, Canada and the European Union:

New US Nutrition FactsOld Canadian Nutrition Facts (CanadaNew Canadian Nutrition FactsEuropean Legislation
Energy (kcal, USA/Canada standards)YESYESYESYES (in kcal or kJ, EU standards)
Dietary fibersYESYESYESoptional
Added sugarsYES
Vitamin AoptionalYESoptionaloptional
Total vitamin CoptionalYESoptionaloptional
Vitamin DYESoptionaloptionaloptional
Comparative table for mandatory nutrients displayed on different nutritional labelings

The contents of trans fatty acids, fibers, added sugars and cholesterol, as well as vitamin D, potassium, iron and calcium will thus have to be added to the data already mandatory in Europe in order to be able to export to the USA, as well as the calculation of energy density according to North American standards, slightly different from those in Europe.

It is important to note that Nutrition Facts are calculated per serving. It is therefore necessary to define beforehand a size and a number of portions in the “Properties” list of your finished product.


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