Label Claim Basics

Label Claim Basics

Helen Timothy
March 4, 2021

On-Demand Webinar: Labeling Changes 2020

Watch the Recording

On-Demand Webinar: Labeling Changes 2020

Elizabeth Salvo from ESHA Research joined TraceGains for a conversation about the labeling change that went into effect in 2020. Watch the recording to learn best practices and see case studies.

Watch the Recording

Walk up and down the aisles of any grocery store in the world, and you’ll see dozens of label claims. With different customer preferences, label claims can give companies a competitive edge. Whether “natural,” “non-GMO,” “dairy-free,” low fat,” or “organic” - all claims fall into three categories.

Food Claim Categories

Nutrient Content Claims: Points to the amount of nutrients in the food item, such as “high in Vitamin D” or “low fat.” Nutrient content claims have many guidelines addressing what they can and cannot say and how companies claim them. Nutrient content claims are most common around “unhealthy” aspects of food - sugar, fat, calories, and sodium. 

Structure Claims: These claims describe the function that ingredients play and are prevalent in dietary supplements, food, and drug claims. Examples are “fiber to keep you regular,” and “calcium leads to strong bones.” The Food and Drug Administration must sign off on these claims and impose penalties if companies claim it incorrectly. 

Health Claims: Suggest a correlation between the product and a heath-related illness or condition. A typical example of this claim is “heart-healthy” products that use the word “heart” or heart symbols to suggest a heart disease link. Health claims must stand up under intense review and must have scientific evidence to back it up. The FDA has approved 12 health claims:

  1. Vitamin D, calcium, and osteoporosis

  2. Sodium and hypertension

  3. Soluble fiber (from certain foods) and heart disease

  4. Soy protein and heart disease

  5. Sterols/stanols and heart disease

  6. Saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease

  7. Fiber-containing fruits, vegetables, grain products, and heart disease

  8. Fiber-containing fruits, vegetables, grain products, and cancer

  9. Fruits and vegetables and cancer

  10. Dietary fat and cancer

  11. Folic acid and neural tube defects

  12. Non-cariogenic carbohydrate sweeteners and dental caries

It can be hard to stay on top of labeling changes. Elizabeth Salvo from ESHA Research joined TraceGains to discuss the labeling changes that went into effect last year. Elizabeth is Director of Regulatory and Consulting Services at ESHA Research, the preeminent nutrition software provider for almost four decades. Watch the on-demand webinar recording here

Labeling FDA