Available Display Surface (ADS)
Guidance on Measuring ADS

Determining the ADS for Packaging with Geometric Forms

Many packages are in standard shapes for which the areas can be calculated using mathematical formulas. These formulas are available in the section Mathematical Calculations for the Area of Some Geometric Forms.

Determining the ADS for Uniform Bottles and Jars

There is a proliferation of bottle and jar shapes and sizes in the market place. For the purposes of determining ADS, a uniform shaped jar or bottle (e.g., stubby form, not long necked) is a jar or bottle that is straight from the base to the beginning of the neck. The ADS of these jars and bottles consists of the sides of the jars or bottles and their lids.

Determining the ADS for Non-Uniform Bottles and Jars, Sold by Volume

Measurement of the ADS on irregular shaped bottles and jars is difficult, leading to inconsistent results. Consequently, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) developed a fair and consistent alternative method of estimating the ADS of these containers. This option uses the declared net quantity of products sold by volume, and the actual volume of products sold by weight, to estimate an approximate ADS for non-uniform bottles and jars.

The ADS by volume method of calculating ADS is an alternative option to measuring the ADS of non-uniform bottles and jars. The CFIA plans to use this method of estimating the ADS on non-uniform bottles and jars in carrying out its inspection activities. When determining the ADS of irregular shaped containers, industry has the choice of either using this alternative ADS by volume method or measuring the container as prescribed in the regulations. If the second option is chosen, all packaging technology available must be taken into consideration when measuring the area of a container where a label may be physically applied, such as shrink wrapping and plastic and paper labels that may be affixed to irregular shapes, not just the current packaging technology in use by a company.

The following rule applies to all non-uniform glass and plastic bottles and all non-uniform shaped jars sold by volume.

ADS = Calculation Based on the Declared Volume

To calculate the ADS of a non-uniform bottle or jar, use the following formula.
Volume of Container ADS
≤ 149 ml < 100 cm2 (small package exemption)
150 ml - 250 ml 100 cm2 (requires NFT)
May choose one of the NFTs in the lowest level of options in the Hierarchy of Formats, i.e., the smaller NFTs. See Nutrition Facts Table Formats section.
> 250 ml Equation - volume of container in millilitres divide by 250 millilitres multiply by 100 centimetre squared 

Note: No further deductions are applied to the ADS calculation, e.g., deduction of the UPC code.

Determining the ADS on Non-Uniform Bottles and Jars, Sold by Weight

Since the density of different products may vary, the volumes of different products of the same weight may also vary. For example, a 450 g jar of coffee whitener is almost the same size as a 100 g jar of artificial sweetener. Consequently, the volume of the container should be determined and the formula for non-uniform bottles and jars should be applied.

ADS = Calculation Based on the Measured Volume of the Container

This 450 g jar of coffee whitener is almost the same size as a 100 g jar of artificial sweetener. However, because of the varying volumes, the Nutrition Facts table fills more space on this container than that of the artificial sweetener.
450 g artificial sweetener
This 100 g jar artificial sweetener is almost the same size as a 450 g jar of coffee whitener. However, because of the varying volumes, the Nutrition Facts table fills less space on this container than that of the coffee whitener.
100 g coffee whitener.

How to determine the ADS of a non-uniform bottle or jar sold by weight:

  1. Starting with an empty container, fill the container with water to 1 cm below the rim.
  2. Empty water into a graduated container (e.g., measuring cup or graduated cylinder), and measure in milliliters.
  3. Apply the formula for "Bottles and Jars – Non-Uniform, Sold by Volume". (See preceding section.)

Note: No further deductions are applied to the ADS calculation, e.g., deduction of the UPC code.

This image illustrates filling a measuring cup with water to determine the ADS of a non-uniform bottle or jar sold by weight.

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