Potential Pitfalls When Making Nutrition Product Claims

Product Claims 800 x 533

NutriCalc® has a ‘nutrition product claims’ function in the Premium plan which saves both time and money during product development as you can see, prior to production, whether the product will meet the targets required to make the claim.

NutriCalc advises users (this appears at the top of the claims report) to obtain a lab analysis on the product at the end of the shelf life. This ensures that in the event of the deterioration of the nutrients on standing, the claims being made are still true at that stage.

However, there are still some pitfalls to be aware of which some manufacturers have reached out to us about as they don’t understand.

To be clear: There are NO tolerances when making claims about the nutrition content of a product. This is NOT the same as the nutrition table that appears on the back of pack as these are not claims and there are permissible tolerances for this.

People are sometimes confused when reading the legislation about claims because these do refer to the permitted ‘tolerances’ for nutrients on labelling.

We think the confusion is due to these references and here’s what we understand it to mean:

If you’re intending to make a claim about either a macro or micro nutrient, you really must ensure that the values you base the claim on take account of the permissible tolerances in labelling for that nutrient. There is no way of knowing whether values contain a tolerance or not so YOU MUST proceed with caution when making health/nutrient claims.

Tolerances for most nutrients are broadly 20%, although the value can be 35% low for vitamins and minerals. You therefore need to ensure that this is factored into the decision to make a nutrition claim.

For example, to make a claim for ‘High in Vitamin C’, the product needs to supply at least 24mg/100g. A tolerance of 35% is allowed for a calculated or lab result for vitamin C. So to be safe in making a claim for ‘High in Vitamin C’, it would be advisable to ensure that the vitamin C content is not less than 37mg per 100g.

David F. Bartley PhD

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