The Nutritional Facts Panel Regs Have Yet to Be Announced. Now What?

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It seems as if the entire food manufacturing industry is holding it’s breath waiting to hear from the FDA on when the new labeling regulations will be finalized, and what, exactly, those regulations will entail. In the meantime, here are four topics worth considering:
1. New Mandatory Nutrients. Get ready to add these to your label. The FDA has recommended adding Potassium, Vitamin D, and Added Sugars to the list of mandatory nutrients, and we haven’t seen anything to indicate that this change isn’t going to make the final cut. As a result, unless you have been displaying them as voluntary nutrients, you will need to re-analyze your recipes to include these nutrients on your Nutrition Facts Panels. (You can see an example of the proposed label in your Genesis program.)
2.Changes to RDI and RACC. The FDA has also made revisions to the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) and Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACC). The proposed changes are complicated and wordy, but can be boiled down to two main ideas.
Changes in RDI: The RDIs (dietary recommendation values used for labeling) have been assessed and revised per the latest scientific evidence. Due to these changes, current formulations may not reflect the same level of intake adequacy as before. This means you will most likely have to revise your formulas for accuracy or congruently change the values on the label to stay compliant.
Changes in RACC: The guidelines for portion size regulation in the Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed have been updated to reflect the larger portion sizes that Americans commonly consume. This change could affect products that currently report health or nutrient content claims, since these claims are based on the RACC. Consequently, you may want to reformulate your products to tell a better nutritional story.
3. When to Update Packaging. The regulations will go into effect 60 days after the final ruling and you will have up to two years to deploy compliant labels and update your packaging.  This grace period allows you to use up the packaging you have in stock, true, but, redesigning your packaging and moving your projects through the printing process takes a lot of time. Since much of the legwork must be done prior to implementation, we encourage you to operate proactively and early in this situation.
4. What ESHA’s Doing to Help. We will continue to monitor the website for any changes, delays, news releases, etc. Once the final action is announced, we will update Genesis R&D with the new Nutrition Facts label formats and the revised RDI and RACC amounts used in analysis.
We also now offer individual label services and regulatory consulting to help navigate the new laws.

Changes are coming, and we still don’t know when. What we do know is that you will soon be quite busy and we are here to lend a hand.
But for now, we wait!