Requirements for Making a Nutrient Content Claim

Table of Contents

All aspects of food labels and advertisements are considered in the overall impression attributed to food products. Nutrient content claims that appear on food labels or advertisements contribute toward this overall impression. For this reason, nutrient content claims must comply with the General Principles for Labelling and Advertising.

The FDR generally prohibits, in labelling or advertising, express or implied representations that characterize the energy value of a food or the amount of nutrient contained in the food (i.e., it is not permissible to make a nutrient content claim) [B.01.502(1), FDR]. However, these regulations also provide the following exceptions to this overall rule:

Exceptions

The table following section B.01.513 sets out specific claims that are permitted provided the corresponding conditions are met [B.01.503, FDR]. More information on these claims can be found in Making a Nutrient Content Claim and Specific Nutrient Content Claim Requirements.

Permitted nutrient content claims with respect to vitamins and minerals are regulated by Part D of the FDR and are not covered in the table following B.01.513. For more information on the conditions for making these claims, please refer to the Vitamin and Mineral Nutrient Claims.

Some quantitative declarations outside the Nutrition Facts table are permitted, with certain associated conditions [B.01.301, FDR]. Further information is available in the appropriate section.

Statements with respect to proteins may also be permitted provided the food meets certain conditions [B.01.305, FDR]. Please refer to Protein Claims for further information.

Other cases in which nutrient content claims may be permissible are: [B.01.502(2), FDR]:

  • representations for which there are provisions in the FDR, such as prescribed common names like "unsweetened chocolate" or "mineral water" and prescribed statements like "X% meat protein" on meats with added phosphates [B.01.502(2)(a), FDR];
  • statements prescribed by Section 35 of the Processed Products Regulations (e.g., "packed in light syrup" on canned fruit, "X% sugar added" on frozen strawberries packed in sugar, etc.) [B.01.502(2)(b), FDR];
  • statements required by Section 94(4) of the Meat Inspection Regulations (e.g.,"extra lean ground beef", "lean ground pork", etc.) [B.01.502(2)(c), FDR];
  • statements that characterize the amount of lactose in a food (e.g., "lactose-free" when lactose is non-detectable in the food) [B.01.502(2)(d), FDR]. Please refer to "Lactose-free" claims under Negative Claims Pertaining to the Absence or Non-Addition of a Substance for more information;
  • statements regarding the addition of salt or sugars to a food (e.g., "salted nuts", "sweetened", etc.) other than any statement of claim set out in column 4 of the table following section B.01.513, FDR [B.01.502(2)(e)(f), FDR];
  • a representation that characterizes the amount of starch in a food, for Nutrient Content Claims on Food Intended Solely for Children Under Two Years of Age [B.01.502(2)(g), FDR].
  • some established common names such as "defatted soybeans", "high fructose corn syrup" and "demineralized water"[B.01.502(2)(h), FDR];
  • a representation that characterizes the amount of fatty acid in a vegetable oil and forms part of its common name (e.g. "high oleic sunflower oil") [B.01.502(2)(i), FDR];
  • statements that characterize the percentage alcohol in a beverage if it contains more than 0.5% alcohol (e.g., "14% alcohol by volume") [B.01.502(2)(j), FDR];
  • the term "light salted fish" [B.01.502(2)(k), FDR]; and
  • the term "lean" (in English only) when related to a prepackaged meal for use in weight-reduction or weight-maintenance diets [B.01.502(2)(l), FDR].
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