Elements within the Nutrition Facts Table
Vitamins and Mineral Nutrients
Declarations of vitamins and mineral nutrients in the Nutrition Facts table are based on the combined total of both the naturally occurring nutrient content and any added nutrient content of a food. Vitamins and mineral nutrients are declared as percentages of the Daily Value per serving of stated size.
Vitamin A is measured using Retinol Equivalents (RE). The contribution of both retinol and beta-carotene is used to determine the total vitamin A content of a specific food.
Vitamin A can be calculated from its content of retinol and beta-carotene and its derivatives, based on the following formula:
total vitamin A (RE) = µg of retinol + ( µg of beta-carotene ÷ 6)
International Units (IU) were formerly used to express the vitamin A content of a food. To convert IU of vitamin A into Retinol Equivalents, the following formulae are used:
IU retinol÷3.33 = RE
IU beta-carotene ÷ 10 = RE
The following table may be used to convert IU of retinol and IU of beta-carotene to RE
|IU of retinol =||RE =||IU of beta-carotene|
The following table may be used to convert RE to % DV for vitamin A:
|RE||% DV |
≥ 2 years of age Table Note 3
< 2 years of age Table Note 4
- Table Note 3
Rounding rules have been applied to these figures. The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin A for persons of two years of age and older is 1000 RE.
- Table Note 4
Rounding rules have been applied to these figures. The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin A for persons less than two years of age is 400 RE.
Vitamin D is measured in micrograms (µg). It was formerly expressed in International Units (IU).
The amount of vitamin D may be calculated based on the following relationship:
1 µg of either ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) or cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) = 40 IU vitamin D
The following table contains IU of vitamin D converted to µg, along with a calculation of the % Daily Value of vitamin D for adults and children.
|IU||µg||% DV |
≥ 2 years of age Table Note 5
< 2 years of age Table Note 6
- Table Note 5
Rounding rules have been applied to these figures. The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin D for persons of two years of age or older is 5 µg.
- Table Note 6
Rounding rules have been applied to these figures. The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin D for persons less than two years of age is 10 µg.
The amount of vitamin E is based on the content of d-alpha-tocopherol expressed in milligrams. Alpha-tocopherol occurs naturally (d-alpha tocopherol or RRR-alpha tocopherolFootnote 7) or can be added as the synthetic form (dl-alpha-tocopherol or all racemic alpha-tocopherolFootnote 8). In addition, esterified forms (acetates, succinates, of alpha-tocopherol) are used to increase the stability of the vitamin.
Vitamin E (mg) is calculated on the basis of the following:
1 mg d-alpha-tocopherol = 1 mg vitamin E
1 mg dl-alpha-tocopherol = 0.74 mg vitamin E
Vitamin E was formerly expressed in International Units (IU). IU are still used in sections D.01.010 and D.01.011 of the Food and Drug Regulations, controlling the level of vitamin E that may be added to foods. IU are calculated on the basis of the following:
1 IU vitamin E = 0.67 mg vitamin E
The following table gives conversions of IU of vitamin E converted to mg, along with a calculation of the percentage of the Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin E for adults and children.
≥ 2 years of age Table Note 9
< 2 years of age Table Note 10
- Table Note 9
Rounding rules have been applied to these figures. The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin E for persons of two years of age or older is 10 mg.
- Table Note 10
Rounding rules have been applied to these figures. The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin E for persons less than two years of age is 3 mg.
The amount of vitamin C is based on the content of L-ascorbic acid and L-dehydroascorbic acid and their derivatives, calculated in milligram equivalents of L-ascorbic acid and expressed in milligrams.
Sodium erythorbate is permitted in a number of foods as a preservative. Erythorbate is not vitamin C as specified in D.01.003 (1) (e) of the FDR. It is an inactive form that does not have the same physiological effect. However, it may show up as vitamin C in lab analysis if the lab is not making this distinction. CFIA labs can make this distinction when necessary, depending on the product in question. Vitamin C from erythorbate should not be declared in the Nutrition Facts table (NFT).
The amount of thiamine and its derivatives is based on the content of thiamine expressed in milligrams.
The amount of riboflavin and its derivatives is based on the content of riboflavin expressed in milligrams.
Although previously expressed in milligrams (mg), niacin is now determined in Niacin Equivalents (NE). The conversion formula is as follows:
NE = mg niacin and/or nicotinic acid + mg tryptophan ÷ 60
The content of tryptophan in a food can be estimated if the protein content of the food is known. Tryptophan constitutes 1.5 percent of egg protein, 1.3 percent of protein from milk, meat, poultry or fish, and 1.1 percent of the protein from mixed and other sources.
Calculation Example - % of the RDI of niacin in a mixed protein source
A 60 g serving of food contains 4.26 mg of niacin and 7.5 g of protein from a mixed source:
NE from niacin alone = 4.26 NE
- Calculate the amount of tryptophan (which is 1.1% of the protein)
1.1% x 7.5 g protein = 0.082 g tryptophan = 82 mg
- Using the conversion formula above, divide mg of tryptophan by 60
82 mg / 60 mg = 1.36 NE
- Add niacin equivalents from the niacin and the tryptophan
4.26 NE + 1.36 NE = 5.62 NE
- Calculate the % of the Recommended Daily Intake of niacin (adults = 23 NE)
(5.62 NE / 23 NE) x 100% = 24 % RDI
- Round the % of the Recommended Daily Intake as per the table to B.01.401 of the FDR to arrive at the % Daily Value for declaration in the Nutrition Facts table
24 % RDI = 25 % Daily Value (rounded)
The amount of vitamin B6 is based on the content of pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine and their derivatives, calculated in milligram equivalents of pyridoxine and expressed as milligrams.
Folacin or Folate
The amount of folacin or folate is based on the content of folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamic acid) and related compounds exhibiting the biological activity of folic acid, calculated in microgram equivalents of folic acid and expressed in micrograms.
The terminology required to be used in the label declaration is "Folate" [item 14(h) of column 2 of the table to B.01.402, FDR].
The amount of vitamin B12 is based on the content of cyanocobalamin and related compounds exhibiting the biological activity of cyanocobalamin, calculated in microgram equivalents of cyanocobalamin and expressed in micrograms.
Pantothenic Acid or Pantothenate
The amount of pantothenic acid or pantothenate is based on the content of d-pantothenic acid and expressed in milligrams. Although pantothenate is also known by other names, e.g., vitamin B5, it must only be declared as "Pantothenate" or "Pantothenic Acid" [item 14(k) of the table to B.01.402, FDR].
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