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Specific nutrient content claim requirements
Energy and calorie claims

This section deals with implied and explicit energy claims. See the table below for the permitted nutrient content claims.

Superlative claims for energy

Consuming a diet high in Calories does not guarantee that one will have lots of "pep" and "energy". Many factors, including the state of a person's health and physical fitness, impact upon how effectively and efficiently the muscles use the energy. The popular concept of "energy" in the sense of being energetic, having pep, vigour, strength, endurance, etc., is not directly related to specific foods in the diet.

The text accompanying claims such as "source of energy" and "contains more calories" (and synonymous claims) must not mislead the buyer. The following types of claims are considered misleading and must not be used.

  • A claim that a food provides "instant" pep, vitality, vigour, power or strength
  • A claim that a food provides all the food energy necessary to carry one through certain physical activities or recovery from these
  • A claim that a food provides all the energy necessary to carry one through until the next meal, or
  • A claim that a food, consisting mainly of carbohydrates, provides food energy which lasts over many hours of hard work or play

Summary table of energy and calorie 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 the Table of reference amounts for food.

Column 1
Claim
Column 2
Conditions - Food
Column 3
Conditions - Label or advertisement
Column 4
FDR
Reference

a) Free of energy
"free of energy"
"energy-free"
"no energy"
"0 energy"
"zero energy"
"without energy"
"contains no energy"

"Calorie-free"
"free of Calories"
"no Calories"
"0 Calories"
"zero Calories"
"without Calories"
"contains no Calories"

The food provides less than 5 Calories or 21 kilojoules per reference amount and serving of stated size.

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 1

b) Low in energy
"low energy"
"low in energy "
"low source of energy"
"little energy"
"low Calorie"
"low in Calories"
"low source of Calories"
"contains only (number) Calories per serving"
"contains less than (number) Calories per serving"
"few Calories"

The food provides:
(a) 40 Calories or 167 kilojoules or less per reference amount and serving of stated size and, in the case of a food other than a table-top sweetener, if the reference amount is 30 g or 30 mL or less, per 50 g; or
(b) 120 Calories or 500 kilojoules or less per 100 g, if the food is a prepackaged meal.

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

Table following B.01.513, item 2

c) Reduced in Energy
"reduced in energy"
"reduced energy"
"energy-reduced"
"less energy"
"lower energy"
"lower in energy"
"reduced Calorie"
"reduced in Calories"
"Calorie-reduced"
"less Calories"
"lower Calories"
"lower in Calories"
"fewer Calories"

(1) The food is processed, formulated, reformulated or otherwise modified so that it provides at least 25% less energy
(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.
(2) The similar reference food does not meet the conditions set out in column 2 of item b) above for "low in energy"

The following are identified:
(a) the 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 energy value with the similar reference food, expressed by percentage or fraction or in Calories 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 3

d) Lower in Energy
"lower in energy"
"less energy"
"lower energy"
"less Calories"
"lower Calorie"
"lower in Calories"
"fewer Calories"

(1) The food provides at least 25% less energy
(a) per reference amount of the food, than the reference amount of the 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.
(2) The reference food of the same food group does not meet the conditions set out in column 2 of item b) above for "low in energy".

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 energy value with the reference food of the same food group, expressed by percentage or fraction or in Calories 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 4

e) Source of Energy
"source of energy"
"contains energy"
"provides energy"
"source of Calories"
"contains Calories"
"provides Calories"

The food provides at least 100 Calories or 420 kilojoules per reference amount and serving of stated size.

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

Table following B.01.513, item 5

f) More Energy
"more Calories"
"contains more Calories"
"higher Calories"
"higher in Calories"

The food provides at least 25% more energy, totalling at least 100 more Calories or 420 more kilojoules
(a) per reference amount of the food, than the reference amount of the reference food of the same food group or the similar reference food; or
(b) per 100 g, than 100 g of the reference food of the same food group or the similar reference food, if the food is a prepackaged meal.

The following are identified:
(a) the reference food of the same food group or the similar reference food;
(b) the amounts of the food and the reference food of the same food group or the similar reference food being compared, if those amounts are not equal; and
(c) the difference in energy value compared to the reference food of the same food group or the similar reference food, expressed as a percentage or fraction or in Calories 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 6

g) Light in Energy
"light"
"lite"

The food meets the conditions set out in column 2 of the subject "reduced in energy" (item c) of this table)

The following are identified:
(a) the similar reference food (definition)Table Note 1;
(b) the amounts of the food and the similar reference food being compared, if those amounts are not equal; and
(c) the difference in energy value with the similar reference food, expressed by percentage or fraction or in Calories or 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 to B.01.513, item 45

h) Representation that the food is for use in "energy-reduced" diet with respect to the energy value only of a food

The food meets the conditions set out for one of the following claims:
"free of energy" (item a) of this table),
"low in energy" (item b) of this table),
"reduced in energy" (item c) of this table),
"lower in energy" (item d) of this table)

Claim or statement is made in accordance with columns 1 and 3 for items a), b), c) or d) of this table.

B.01.507

i) Representation that the food is for "special dietary use" with respect to the energy value of the food

One of the following claims must be made on the label of the product and the conditions for that claim must be respected:
"free of energy" (item a) of this table),
"low in energy" (item b) of this table)

Claim or statement is made in accordance with columns 1 and 3 for items a), b), c) or d) of this table.

B.24.003(1.1)

j) Foods represented as "dietetic" or "diet" with respect to the energy content of the food, including when used in a trade-mark.

Reserved for foods for special dietary use as regulated by B.24.003.In order to label, package, sell or advertise a food as "dietetic" or "diet", or use those words in the brand name, one of the following must be on the label and the conditions for that claim must be met:
"free of energy" (item a) of this table),
"low in energy" (item b) of this table), "reduced in energy" (Item c) of this table),
"lower in energy" (item d) of this table)

Claim or statement is made in accordance with columns 1 and 3 for items a), b), c) or d) of this table.

B.24.003(4)

Table Notes

Table note 1

The similar reference food for foods with a "light in energy claim", shall have a nutrient value that is representative of foods of that type that have not been processed, formulated, reformulated or otherwise modified in a manner that increases the energy value or the amount of fat [B.01.500(2), FDR].

Return to table note 1 referrer

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