Sarah Davis explains what you need to know to read food labels and discusses nutrient content claims.
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Sarah Davis: Hi, I'm Sarah Davis with the Institute of Food Technologists and today we are talking about how to read food labels. Right now, I am going to talk about nutrient content claims that are found on food labels and what they are. Nutrient content claims are statements that can be made by a manufacturer to tell consumers how much of a specific nutrient is in that product. Typically a nutrient content claim is either low or high but a nutrient content claim could also tell you that there is X numbers of this specific nutrient per serving. So for example a nutrient content claim might be high in fiber, it could be low fat or it could say this product contains a 100 calories per serving. The Food & Drug Administration allows 11 nutrient content claims. These are more, less, fewer, good source of free, light, lean, extra lean, high, low and reduced. I have some products here that show nutrient content claims. This product says it's reduced and so right here it says that this reduced fat cracker contains 40% less fat than the regular version of this product. This nutrient content claim tells me that each serving contains 5 grams of whole grains. So those are the different types of nutrient content claims. These are regulated by the Food & Drug Administration and it's very specific as to when you can use these claims and what the criteria is for using their claims. To give you an example Free can be used on products in conjunction with calories, fat, sugar and cholesterol. So, to be calorie free, a product needs to have five calories per serving or less and then it can be called calorie free. To be fat free or sugar free, it needs to have 0.5 grams of sugar or fat per serving or less and then it can be called fat free and so that's helpful to know that it's regulated and there is either none of the nutrient in the food or only a very trivial amount in the product. So you know that these claims are very truthful and not misleading and they are usually located right on the front on the principle display of a product. So that it is easy for consumers to read the nutrient content claim and know what's in the food without using all of the other helpful information such as a nutrition facts panel. So that's all for nutrient content claims and next I'll be talking about health claims.