Information within the Nutrition Facts Table
Reference Amounts

A reference amount is a specific regulated quantity of a type of food usually eaten by an individual at one sitting. Reference amounts, as established by Health Canada, are set out in Schedule M of the FDR [B.01.001, FDR] and are provided in the table Reference Amounts and Serving Sizes below. With the exception of prepackaged meals, reference amounts serve as the basis of compositional criteria for nutrient content claims and health claims [B.01.001, B.01.002A, item 1 to table to B.01.401, and Schedule M, FDR]. They are also used for determining what a single serving container is.

Unless otherwise noted, the reference amounts are for the ready-to-serve or almost ready-to-serve form of the food and are based on the main intended use of a food (e.g., milk as a beverage and not as an ingredient in recipes or when added to cereal). Where a product requires further preparation (such as the addition of water or other ingredients) and a reference amount has not been established for the unprepared form, the reference amount will be the quantity of the product required to prepare the reference amount of finished product. For example, 40 g would be the reference amount for a 40 g serving of a powdered meal replacement used to make a 250 ml shake as per directions provided for the preparation of the shake.

Reference amounts refer only to the edible portion of the food and exclude any liquid in which the solid food may be packed or canned, unless the liquid is customarily consumed with the solid food. For example, the reference amounts for olives and feta cheese do not include the brine, only the olives and the cheese, whereas canned fruit packed in fruit juice includes the fruit juice. Pork ribs would not include the bones, only the meat.

Tables: Reference Amounts and Serving Sizes

The table below outlines the reference amounts and serving sizes for various foods. The appropriate sections provide further information on these topics and will contribute to the proper use of the table.

Main Categories:

Bakery Products

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
1 Bread, excluding sweet quick-type rolls 50 g 25-70 g
(1-2 slices) – sliced
50 g – unsliced
2 Bagels, tea biscuits, scones, rolls, buns, croissants, tortillas, soft bread sticks, soft pretzels and corn bread
Pita bread
55 g 25-100 g
3 Brownies 40 g 30-100 g
4 Cake (heavy weight): 10 g or more per 2.5 cm cube, such as cheese cake, pineapple upside-down, cake with at least 35% of the finished weight as fruit, nuts, or vegetables, or any of these combined 125 g 80-150 g
5 Cake (medium weight): 4 g or more per 2.5 cm cube but less than 10g per 2.5 cm cube, such as cake with or without icing or filling, cake with less than 35% of the finished weight as fruit, nuts or vegetables or any of these combined; light weight cake with icing; Boston cream pie, cupcakes, eclairs, or cream puffs 80 g 50-125 g
6 Cake (light weight): less than 4 g per 2.5 cm cube, such as angel food, chiffon, or sponge cake without icing or filling 55 g 40-80 g
7 Coffee cakes, doughnuts, danishes, sweet rolls, sweet quick-type breads and muffins 55 g 50-100 g
8 Cookies, with or without coating or filling; graham wafers
Crackers and cheese dip pack
30 g 30-40 g
9 Crackers, hard bread sticks and melba toast 20 g 15-30 g
10 Dry breads, matzo, and rusks 30 g 15-35 g
11 Flaky type pastries, with or without filling or icing 55 g 50-90 g
12 Toaster pastries 55 g 50-80 g
13 Ice cream cones g 3-25 g
14 Croutons g 7-20 g
15 French toast, pancakes, and waffles 75 g 60-110 g prepared
(2-4 pancakes)
16 Grain-based bars with filling or partial or full coating 40 g 20-50 g
17 Grain-based bars, without filling or coating 30 g 20-50 g
18 Rice cakes and corn cakes 15 g 10-25 g
19 Pies, tarts, cobblers, turnovers, other pastries 110 g 85-120 g
(⅙ of 20 cm diameter pie or ⅛ of 23 cm pie)
20 Pie crust ⅙ of 20cm crust or
⅛ of 23cm crust
⅙ of 20cm pie or
⅛ of 23cm pie
21 Pizza crust 55 g 30-110 g
22 Taco shell, hard 30 g 20-40 g

Beverages

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
23 Carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, ice tea and wine coolers (provided they contain < 0.5% or less of alcohol) 355 ml 250-375 ml
24 Sports drinks and water 500 ml 400-600 ml
25 Coffee: regular, instant and specialty, including espresso, café au lait, flavoured and sweetened 175 ml amount to make 175-250 ml prepared
26 Tea and herbal tea:
(a) regular and instant (hot)
(b)flavoured and sweetened, prepared from mixes
175 ml
250 mL
amount to make 175-250 ml prepared
27 Cocoa and chocolate beverages (hot) 175 ml 5-15 g dry or amount to make 175-250 mL prepared

Cereals and Other Grain Products

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
28 Hot breakfast cereals, such as oatmeal, or cream of wheat 40 g dry,
250 ml prepared
30-40 g dry,
175-335 ml prepared
29 Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, puffed and uncoated (less than 20 g per 250 ml) 15 g 10-20 g
30 Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, puffed and coated, flaked, extruded, without fruit or nuts (20 g to 42 g per 250 ml), very high fibre cereals (with 28 g or more fibre per 100 g) 30 g 20-45 g
31 Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, fruit and nut type, granola (weighing 43 g or more per 250 mL) and biscuit type cereals 55 g 45-80 g
(1-2 biscuits)
32 Bran and wheat germ
Milled flax seeds
Milled hemp seeds
15 g 10-20 g
33 Flours, including cornmeal 30 g 30-60 g
34 Grains, such as rice or barley 45 g dry
140 g cooked
30-45 g dry,
90-140 g cooked
35 Pastas without sauce
Gnocci
85 g dry
215 g cooked
45-100 g dry,
140-250 g cooked
36 Pastas, dry and ready-to-eat, such as fried canned chow mein noodles 25 g 20-25 g
37 Starch, such as cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch or wheat starch 10 g 5-15 g
38 Stuffing 100 g 75-100 g

Dairy Products and Substitutes

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
39 Cheese, including cream cheese and cheese spread, except those listed as a separate item 30 g 15-60 g
40 Cottage cheese 125 g 60-250 g
41 Cheese used as an ingredient, such as dry cottage cheese or ricotta cheese 55 g 25-100 g
42 Hard cheese, grated, such as parmesan or romano 15 g 8-30 g
43 Quark, fresh cheese and fresh dairy desserts 100 g 50-200 g
44 Cream and cream substitute, except those listed as separate item 15 ml 10-30 ml
45 Cream and cream substitute, powder g 2-4 g
46 Cream and cream substitute, aerosol or whipped 15 g 10-30 g
47 Eggnog 125 ml 60-250 ml
48 Milk, evaporated or condensed 15 ml 10-30 ml
49 Plant-based beverages, milk, buttermilk and milk-based drinks, such as chocolate milk
Smoothie (if whey/dairy is a main ingredient)
Drinkable yogurt
250 ml 125-250 ml
50 Shakes and shake substitutes such as dairy shake mix 250 ml 125-250 ml
51 Sour cream 30 ml 15-60 ml
52 Yogurt 175 g 125-225 g

Desserts

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
53 Ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt, sherbet
Non-dairy desserts sold in tub
125 ml 60-250 ml
54 Dairy desserts, frozen, such as cakes, bars, sandwiches or cones 125 ml 60-175 ml
55 Non-dairy desserts, frozen, such as flavoured and sweetened ice or pops, frozen fruit juices in bars or cups 75 ml 40-150 ml
56 Sundaes 250 ml 125-250 ml
57 Custard, gelatin and pudding 125 ml 80-140 g pudding,
15 g gelatin dessert (dry),
65-250 ml gelatin dessert prepared

Dessert Toppings and Fillings

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
58 Dessert toppings, such as maple butter and marshmallow cream 30 g 15-30 g
59 Cake frostings and icings
Streusal topping
35 g 25-45 g
60 Pie fillings 75 ml 40-150 mL

Egg and Egg Substitutes

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
61 Egg mixtures, such as egg foo young, scrambled eggs, omelets 110 g 50-110 g
62 Eggs, including eggs in the shell, liquid eggs and liquid egg whites 50 g

50-100 g

63 Egg substitutes 50 g 50-100 g

Fats and Oils

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
64 Butter, margarine, shortening, lard
Butter-flavoured spread (mostly vegetable oil)
10 g 5-20 g
65 Vegetable oil 10 ml 5-20 ml
66 Butter replacement, powder g 1-3 g
67 Dressings for salad 30 ml 15-30 ml
68 Mayonnaise, sandwich spread and mayonnaise-type dressing 15 ml 8-30 ml
69 Oil, spray type 0.5 g 0.5 g

Marine and Fresh Water Animals

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
70 Canned anchovies, anchovy paste and caviarTable Note 3 15 g 15-60 g
71 Marine and fresh water animals with sauce, such as fish with cream sauce or shrimp with lobster sauce
Raw fish with sauce
140 g cooked 90-140g
72 Marine and fresh water animals without sauce, such as plain or fried fish or shellfish, or fish or shellfish cakes, with or without breading or batter 125 g raw
100 g cooked
85-130g raw, fresh, frozen
60-100 g cooked
73 Marine and fresh water animals, cannedTable Note 3 55 g 50-100 g
74 Marine and fresh water animals, smoked or pickled, or spreadsTable Note 3 55 g 50-55 g

Fruits and Fruit Juices

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
75 Fruit, fresh, canned or frozen, coated or uncoated, except those listed as a separate item
Apple sauce
140 g
150 ml cannedTable Note 3
110-160 g fresh or frozen,
120-150 ml canned
76 Candied or pickled fruitTable Note 3 30 g 30-40 g
77 Dried fruit, such as raisins, dates or figs 40 g 30-40 g
78 Fruit for garnish or flavour, such as maraschino cherriesTable Note 3 g 1-3 cherries
79 Fruit relishes 60 ml 50-100 ml
80 Avocado, used as an ingredient 30 g 20-40 g
81 Cranberries, lemons and limes, used as ingredients 55 g 50-100 g
82 Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and other melons 150 g 75-300 g
83 Juices, nectars and fruit drinks represented for use as substitutes for fruit juices 250 ml 175-250 ml
84 Juices, used as ingredients, such as lemon juice or lime juice ml 5-10 ml

Legumes

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
85 Bean curd (tofu) or tempehTable Note 3 85 g 85-100 g
86 Beans, peas and lentils, such as white beans, kidney beans, romano beans, soybeans or chick peasTable Note 3 100 g dry,
250 ml cooked or canned
35-100 g dry,
100-250 ml cooked or canned

Meat, Poultry, Their Products and SubstitutesTable Note 4

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
87 Pork rinds and bacon 54 g uncooked
15 g cooked
30-80 g uncooked,
10-30 g cooked
88 Beef, pork and poultry breakfast strips 30 g uncooked
15 g cooked
15-60 g uncooked
10-30 g cooked
89 Dried meat and poultry, such as jerky, dried beef or parma ham, as well as sausage products with a water activity of 0.90 or less, such as salami, dried thuringer or cervelat 30 g 15-60 g
90 Luncheon meats such as bologna, blood pudding, minced luncheon roll, liver sausage, mortadella, ham and cheese loaf or headcheese; pâté, sandwich spread, potted meat food product; taco fillings; meat pie fillings and cretons 75 g uncooked,
55 g cooked
35-100 g uncooked,
25-75 g cooked
91 Sausage products, such as linked sausage, Vienna sausage, wieners, breakfast sausage, frankfurters, pork sausage, bratwurst, kielbasa, Polish sausage, summer sausage, smoked sausage, smoked country sausage, pepperoni, knackwurst, thuringer and cervelat
Sausage made with combination of seafood and pork (mostly seafood)
75 g uncooked,
55 g cooked
75-165 g uncooked,
25-115 g cooked
92 Cuts of meat and poultry without sauce, and ready-to-cook cuts, with or without breading or batter, including marinated, tenderized and injected cuts
Shish kebab (only marinated meat, no vegetables)
Whole chicken (no stuffing)
Turkey roast (no stuffing)
125 g raw,
100 g cooked
80-130 g raw,
50-100 g cooked
93 Patties (including veggie burger patties), cutlettes, chopettes, steakettes, meatballs, sausage meat and ground meat, with or without breading or batter
Falafels
Corn dog on a stick (breaded)
100 g raw,
60 g cooked
80-130 g raw,
50-100 g cooked
94 Cured meat products such as cured ham, dry cured ham, back bacon, cured pork back, dry cured cappicolo, corned beef, pastrami, country ham, cured pork shoulder picnic, cured poultry ham products, smoked meat or pickled meat 85 g raw,
55 g cooked
50-110 g raw,
30-100 g cooked
95 Canned meat and poultryTable Note 3 55 g 50-100 g
96 Meat and poultry with sauce, such as meat in barbecue sauce or turkey with gravy, but excluding combination dishes 140 g 90-150 g

Miscellaneous category

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
97 Baking powder, baking soda, pectin and yeast 0.6 g 0.5-2 g
98 Baking decorations, such as coloured sugars or sprinkles for cookies g 3-5 g
99 Bread crumbs and batter mixes 30 g 15-60 g
100 Cooking wine 30 ml 15-60 ml
101 Cocoa powder g g
102 Non-alcoholic drink mixers, such as pina colada or daiquiri 250 ml amount to make 175-280 ml prepared (without ice)
103 Chewing gum g 3-5 g
104 Salad and potato toppers, such as salad crunchies, salad crispins or substitutes for bacon bits g 5-15 g
105 Salt and salt substitute, as well as seasoned salt such as garlic salt
Seasoning products with salt (e.g. vegetarian seasoning)
Coating mix (with salt as one of main ingredients)
g 0.5-1.5 g
106 Spices and herbs (no salt) 0.5 g 0.5-1.0 g

Combination Dishes

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
107

Measurable with a cup, such as casserole, hash, macaroni and cheese with or without meat, pot pie, spaghetti with sauce, stir fry, meat or poultry casserole, baked or refried beans, wieners and beans, meat chili, chili with beans, creamed chipped beef, beef or poultry ravioli in sauce, beef stroganoff, poultry à la king, Brunswick stew, goulash, stew, ragout or poutine, rice and vegetables, butter chicken with rice
Shepherd's pie

Note: If dish is measurable with a cup but net quantity and serving size declared in grams, item 108 applies

250 ml 200-375g or
200-375 ml
108 Not measurable with a cup, such as burritos, egg rolls, enchiladas, pizza (considered to be "without sauce"), pizza rolls, sausage rolls, pastry rolls, cabbage rolls, quiche, sandwiches, crackers and meat or poultry lunch-type packages, gyros, burger on a bun, frank on a bun, calzones, tacos, pockets stuffed with meat, lasagna, chicken cordon bleu, stuffed vegetables with meat or poultry, shish kabobs (if combination of meat and vegetables), empanadas, fajitas, souvlaki (if combination of meat and vegetables), meat pie or tourtière
Meat-filled cannelloni, no sauce
Stuffed turkey roast
Stuffed chicken
Dish measurable with a cup but net quantity and serving size declared in grams
140 g without gravy or sauce,
195 g with gravy or sauce
90-300 g
including gravy or sauce
109 Hors d'oeuvres 50 g 25-100 g

Nuts and Seeds

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
110 Nuts and seeds, not for use as snacks: whole, chopped, sliced, slivered or ground 30 g shelled 30-75 g
111 Butters, pastes and creams, other than peanut butter 30 g 15-45 g
112 Peanut butter 15 g 15-30 g
113 Flours, such as coconut flour 15 g 10-20 g

Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes and Yams

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
114 French fries, hash browns, skins and pancakes 85 g frozen French fries,
70 g prepared
70-110 g
115 Mashed, candied, stuffed, or with sauce 140 g 100-200 g
116 Plain, fresh, cannedTable Note 3 or frozen 110 g fresh or frozen,
125 g vacuum-packed,
160 g canned
110-150 g

Salads

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
117 Salads, such as egg, fish, shellfish, bean, fruit, vegetable, meat, ham or poultry salad, except those listed as a separate item 100 g 75-150 g
118 Gelatin salad 120 g 100-175 g
119 Pasta or potato salad 140 g 100-200 g

Sauces, Dips, Gravies and Condiments

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
120 Sauces for dipping, such as barbecue, hollandaise, tartar, mustard or sweet and sour sauce 30 ml 15-45 ml
121 Dips, such as legume or dairy-based 30 g 15-45 g
122 Major main entrée sauce, such as spaghetti sauce 125 ml 100-200 ml
123 Minor main entrée sauce such as pizza sauce, pesto sauce, or other sauces used as toppings such as white sauce, cheese sauce, salsa, cocktail sauce or gravy 60 ml 50-100 ml
124 Major condiments, such as ketchup, steak sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, teriyaki sauce or marinades 15 ml 10-20 ml
125 Minor condiments, such as horseradish, hot sauce, mustard, or Worcestershire sauce
Liquid smoke
ml 5-10 ml

Snacks

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
126 Chips, pretzels, popcorn, extruded snacks, grain-based snack mixes and fruit-based snacks, such as fruit chips
Pita chips
50 g 40-60 g
127 Nuts or seeds for use as snacks 50 g shelled 40-60 g
128 Meat or poultry snack food sticks 20 g 15-25 g

Soups

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
129 All varieties 250 ml 175-250 ml prepared,
85-125 ml condensed,
15 g dehydrated or dry

Sugars and Sweets

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
130 Candies, including chocolate bars and other chocolate products, except those listed as a separate item 40 g 30-70 g
131 Hard candies, except those listed as a separate item 15 g 15-30 g
132 Baking candies, such as chocolate chips 15 g 10-20 g
133 Breath mints g 1-3 g
134 Roll-type hard candies and mini size hard candies in dispenser packages g 5-10 g
135 Confectioner's or icing sugar 30 g 15-60 g
136 Bread spreads, except those listed as a separate item, honey and molasses 20 g 15-25 g
137 Jams, jellies, marmalades, fruit butters and spreads 15 ml 10-20 ml
138 Marshmallows 30 g 25-50 g
139 Sugars, except those listed as a separate item g 4-5 g
140 Sugar substitute amount equivalent in sweetness to 4g sugar amount equivalent in sweetness to 4-5 g sugar
141 Syrups, including chocolate, maple and corn syrup 30 ml as ingredient,
60 ml other uses
30-60 ml

Vegetables

Item Product Category Reference AmountTable Note 1 Serving SizeTable Note 2
142 Vegetables without sauce, including cream style corn and stewed tomatoes, but not including vegetables without sauce listed as a separate item
Onion rings
Breaded zucchini sticks
85 g fresh or frozen,
125 ml cannedTable Note 3
70-100 g fresh, frozen
143 Vegetables with sauce 110 g fresh or frozen,
125 ml canned
95-125 g fresh or frozen,
80-175 ml canned
144 Vegetables primarily used for garnish or flavouring, fresh, canned or frozen, but not dried, such as parsley or garlic g 4-5 g
145 Chili pepper and green onion 30 g 25-45 g
146 Seaweed
Dehydrated mushrooms
15 g 10-20 g
147 Lettuce and sprouts 65 g 50-75 g
148 Vegetable juice and vegetable drink 250 ml 125-250 ml
149 OlivesTable Note 3
Sun-dried tomato packed in oil
15 g 10-20 g
3 to 5 olives
1 to 2 sundried tomatoes
150 PicklesTable Note 3
Artichoke hearts
30 g 1 dill pickle, 2 mini-dills or gherkins
1 artichoke heart
151 Relish 15 ml 10-20 ml
152 Vegetable pastes, such as tomato paste 30 ml 25-45 ml
153 Vegetable sauce or purée, such as tomato sauce or tomato purée 60 ml 50-75 ml

Note: Items in italics are not included in Schedule M of the Food and Drug Regulations, but were added upon confirmation with Health Canada.

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