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Labelling requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables
List of ingredients - fresh fruits or vegetables

In most cases, single ingredient foods, such as fresh fruits or vegetables, do not require the declaration of an ingredient list. Furthermore, wax coating compounds, their components and other protective edible coatings are not required to be shown on the label of prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables as an ingredient or component thereof [B.01.008(3)(a), FDR].

For a prepackaged product consisting of more than one ingredient (such as a mixture of fresh-cut fruits or vegetables, bagged lettuce blends, etc.), the ingredients must be shown in descending order of their proportion of the prepackaged product or as a percentage of the prepackaged product, and the order or percentage must be the order or percentage of the ingredients before they are combined to form the prepackaged product [B.01.008.2(3)(a), FDR].

Example: A bagged lettuce blend lists romaine lettuce first and radicchio second in the list of ingredients to indicate that romaine is the primary ingredient.

Note: Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables are also included in the above-mentioned requirement as per the FDR definition of prepackaged product (definition), which is closely aligned with the definition of prepackaged food in the SFCR.

Omissions or substitutions of ingredients, over the 12 month period from the time the label is applied to the prepackaged product, are permitted in an ingredient list provided that it is clearly stated that the ingredient may not be present or that another ingredient may be substituted [B.01.011(1), FDR].

It is also possible for a manufacturer to vary the proportions of ingredients in a prepackaged product, over the 12 month period from the time the label is applied to the prepackaged product provided that it is clearly stated that the proportions indicated are subject to change and the ingredients are listed in descending order of the proportion in which they will probably be used during the 12 month period [B.01.011(2), FDR].

The list of ingredients may be shown on any part of the label, except that part of the label, if any, that is applied to the bottom of the packaging or container [B.01.005(1), FDR].

For more information, including type height requirements, refer to List of Ingredients.

Food additives

Food additives are considered to be ingredients in a prepackaged product and, as such, must be included in the list of ingredients of prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables.

Note: Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables are also included in the above-mentioned requirement as per the FDR definition of prepackaged product (definition), which is closely aligned with the definition of prepackaged food in the SFCR.

With the exception of grapes, it is not permitted to add sulphites to any fresh fruit or vegetable that is intended to be consumed raw [B.11.001.1, FDR]. Sulphites used on grapes are considered food additives and, as an added ingredient, must be declared in the list of ingredients of prepackaged grapes, regardless of the total amount of sulfites added [B.01.008(1)(b), FDR].

For more information, refer to Food Additives.

Food allergens

Any allergens or gluten present in a food must be declared in an ingredient list or "Contains" statement, and the source of a food allergen or gluten must be declared in consistent and easy to understand terminology [B.01.010.1(2), FDR].

Although wax coating compounds, other protective edible coatings and their components are not required to be shown on the label of prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables, if any food allergens or gluten are present in such coatings, they must be declared on the labels of prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables [B.01.010.1(9), FDR]. For example, if a wax coating containing casein is present on a prepackaged fresh fruit or vegetable, the food allergen source "milk" must be declared on the label (e.g., "Contains milk").

In the case of sulphites, the regulations require that sulphites, added as components of an ingredient exempted from component declaration (such as a wax coating compound or other protective edible coating), must be declared when the total amount of sulphites contained within the prepackaged product is 10 parts per million or more [B.01.010.2(3), FDR].

For more information, refer to Food Allergens, Gluten & Added Sulphites.

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