Food labels give information about the product’s energy values and the nutrients it contains. Values are shown in 100 g or 100 ml amounts, or per portion.
What is the energy value?
The energy value of food corresponds to the total energy value of the nutrients it contains. This value is expressed in kilojoules and in kilocalories. Occasionally, a food label may also give the percentage the portion represents of recommended daily intake.
How are carbohydrates, fats and proteins shown?
The protein, carbohydrate and fat content is indicated in grams. Some labels differentiate between complex carbohydrates, such as starch, and simple carbohydrates, also known as sugars, as they are not digested in the same way. A food label may also mention saturated fats, as they should be consumed in moderation.
Is dietary fibre mentioned on labels?
Dietary fibre is neither digested nor absorbed. It is listed separately as it is made up of complex carbohydrates with low energy value.
Is salt mentioned on labels?
Sodium is indispensable for the body, but an excessive intake of salt can cause high blood pressure. As such, it must be consumed in moderation.
How are vitamins and minerals shown?
The body requires vitamins and minerals to function, but only in small amounts. They are indicated in milligrams or micrograms.
What are claims? Are there any regulations?
Claims indicate that a product has specific nutritional properties. Claims are strictly regulated and scientific proof must be provided.