Specific Nutrient Content Claim Requirements
Carbohydrate and Sugars Claims

Claims for carbohydrate and sugars content are restricted to those permitted in the Summary Table for Carbohydrate and Sugars Claims below. Claims such as "source of complex carbohydrates", "low carbohydrate", and "light" claims referring to the carbohydrate or sugar content of a food are not permitted.

Other Permitted Representations [B.01.502(2), FDR]

In addition to the claims permitted in the table following B.01.513 of the FDR, representations with respect to sugars and carbohydrates may also be made as follows:

  • Representations otherwise provided for in the FDR are permitted, such as prescribed common names like "semi-sweet", "bitter-sweet", "sweetened and unsweetened chocolate" and "sweetened condensed milk".
  • Representations provided for under Section 35 of the Processed Products Regulations are permitted. These require the indication of the type of syrup or juice in which various fruits and sweet potatoes are packed (i.e., heavy syrup, slightly sweetened fruit juice, etc.), and the total percentage of sweetening agents added for frozen fruits packed in sugar (i.e., "X% sugar", "invert sugar", "dextrose or glucose added").
  • Representations characterizing the amount of lactose in a food are permitted. These are not considered to be nutrient content claims.
  • Representations characterizing the addition of sugars to a food, such as "sweetened ice tea", "sweetened with honey", and "sweetened with fruit juice", are permitted, in addition to the statements or claims prescribed by the nutrition labelling regulations.
  • Representations characterizing the amount of starch in a food, such as "no added starch", are permitted for Nutrient Content Claims on Food Intended Solely for Children Under Two Years of Age.
  • The representation "high (naming the mono- or disaccharide) (naming the syrup)" is permitted.

Ingredients that Functionally Substitute for Added Sugars

The statement "no sugar added, sweetened with (naming the sweetening agent(s))" is not permitted on labels for foods that contain added sugarsFootnote * or ingredients with added sugars or ingredients that contain sugars that functionally substitute for added sugars. These ingredients, such as sweetening agents, molasses, fruit juice, honey and maple syrup give a sweet taste to foods. These foods will not meet the prescribed requirements for the "no sugar added" claim. See item d) in Summary Table for Carbohydrate and Sugars Claims below.

The information letter Criteria for the Nutrient Content Claim No Added Sugars provides further information.

Addition of Sugar Alcohols

A positive statement such as "sweetened with sorbitol" is acceptable on the label or in the advertisement in addition to the declaration of the amount in the Nutrition Facts table. Refer to the section on Sweeteners for more information on specific requirements.

Sweet Taste

A claim referring specifically to a "sweet taste", such as "does not taste sweet", is considered to be a taste claim and does not trigger a Nutrition Facts table on foods otherwise exempted by B.01.401(2)(a) and (b), FDR.

Summary Table for Carbohydrate and Sugars Claims

Note: The claims in quotation marks in column 1 are those which are permitted by the Food and Drug Regulations. The reference amounts are found in Part D, Schedule M of the Food and Drug Regulations.

Summary Table for Carbohydrate and Sugars Claims
Column 1
Claim
Column 2
Conditions - Food
Column 3
Conditions - Label or Advertisement
Column 4
FDR Reference

a) Free of sugars
"free of sugar"
"sugar-free"
"no sugar"
"0 sugar"
"zero sugar"
"without sugar"
"contains no sugar"
"sugarless"

The food
(a) contains less than 0.5 g of sugars per reference amount and serving of stated size; and
(b) with the exception of chewing gum, meets the conditions set out in column 2 of the subject "free of energy" set out in item a) of the Summary Table of Energy and Calorie Claims.

Must comply with requirements and conditions for making a nutrient content claim.

Nutrition Facts table is required on Foods Usually Exempt from Displaying a Nutrition Facts Table by B.01.401(2)(a) and (b) of the FDR [B.01.401(3)(e)(ii), FDR].

When used in an advertisement, must comply with the Advertising Requirements for Nutrient Content Claims.

B.01.401(3) (e)(ii)
Table following B.01.513, item 37

b) Reduced in sugars
"reduced in sugar"
"reduced sugar"
"sugar-reduced"
"less sugar"
"lower sugar"
"lower in sugar"

The food is processed, formulated, reformulated or otherwise modified so that it contains at least 25% less sugars, totalling at least 5 g less
(a) per reference amount of the food, than the reference amount of a similar reference food; or
(b) per 100 g, than 100 g of a similar reference food, if the food is a prepackaged meal.

The following are identified:
(a) similar reference food (definition);
(b) the amounts of the food and the similar reference food being compared, if those amounts are not equal; and
(c) the difference in sugars with the similar reference food, expressed by percentage or fraction or in grams per serving of stated size.
(See Comparative Nutrient Content Claims for more information.)
See conditions set out for item a) of this table.

Table following B.01.513, item 38

c) Lower in sugars
"lower in sugar"
"lower sugar"
"less sugar"

The food contains at least 25% less sugars, totalling at least 5 g less,
(a) per reference amount of the food, than the reference amount of a reference food of the same food group; or
(b) per 100 g, than 100 g of a reference food of the same food group, if the food is a prepackaged meal.

The following are identified:
(a) the reference food of the same food group (definition);
(b) the amounts of the food and the reference food of the same food group being compared, if those amounts are not equal; and
(c) the difference in sugars with the reference food of the same food group, expressed by percentage or fraction or in grams per serving of stated size.
(See Comparative Nutrient Content Claims for more information.)
See conditions set out for item a) of this table.

Table following B.01.513, item 39

d) No added sugars
"no added sugar"
"no sugar added"
"without added sugar"
May be used for Nutrient Content Claims on Food Intended Solely for Children Under Two Years of Age
[B.01.503.(2)(e), FDR]

1) The food contains no added sugars and no ingredients containing added sugars or ingredients that contain sugars that functionally substitute for added sugars.
2) The sugars content is not increased through some other means except where the functional effect is not to increase the sugars content of the food.
3) The similar reference food contains added sugars.
Refer to information letter Criteria for the Nutrient Content Claim No Added Sugars.

See conditions set out for item a) of this table.

Table following B.01.513, item 40

e) "unsweetened"

1) The food meets the conditions set out in column 2 for item d) of this table. - "No added sugars"
2) The food does not contain a sweetener set out the List of Permitted Sweeteners.

See conditions set out for item a) of this table.

B.01.509

f) Representation that the food is for use in an "energy-reduced" diet

The food meets the conditions set out for the claim "free of sugars" (item a) above in this table).

Claim or statement is made in accordance with the wording set out in column 1and conditions in column 3 for item a) of this table.

B.01.507

g) Representation that a food is "for special dietary use" with respect to the sugar content

The food must meet the conditions for "free of sugars" (item a) above).

Claim or statement is made in accordance with the wording set out in column 1and conditions in column 3 for item a) of this table.

B.01.401(3)(e)(ii)
B.24.003 (1.1)

h) "dietetic" or "diet" with respect to the sugars content of the food, including when used in the brand name.
Conditions for use with energy and sodium claims – See Summary Table of Energy and Calorie Claims and Summary Table for Sodium (Salt) Claims.

Reserved for foods for special dietary use as regulated by B.24.003
The food meets the conditions for the claim:
"Free of sugars" (see item (a) above)

Claim or statement is made in accordance with the wording set out in column 1 and conditions in column 3 for item a) of this table.

B.01.401(3)(e)(ii)
B.24.003(4)

i) Representation about the addition or non-addition of starch to a food

The claim may only be made on foods intended solely for children less than two years of age.

Nutrition Facts table must also comply with the conditions set out in B.01.403, FDR (Foods for children under two years of age)
Nutrition Facts table must include the amount of starch expressed in grams per serving of stated size
When used in an advertisement, must comply with the requirements for advertisements.

B.01.403
B.01.402(4) table, item 13

j) Words that characterize the amount of lactose present in a food

This is not a claim covered by the Regulations.
Note: a food claiming to be lactose-free should contain no detectable lactose.

Nutrition Facts table required on products otherwise exempted by B.01.401(2)(a) and (b), FDR.

B.01.401(3)(e)(ii)

k) "sweetened",
or
other claims characterizing the addition of sugars to the food
i.e., "Sweetened", "sweetened with honey", "sweetened with fruit juice", etc.

No compositional requirements

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