There is a plethora of software options and subscriptions available for businesses to calculate the nutrient contents of their recipes – but as with anything, the accuracy of the data output is only going to be as good as the information going in!
I first wrote about this in 2016 and the importance of using professionally trained experts, but in recent months it has become apparent when talking with several food business owners, that small/medium sized operators are increasingly starting to calculate their nutrition information themselves. With this in mind, now seemed a good time to revisit and discuss the benefits & pitfalls of calculating the nutrition contents of foods and drinks.
AB Food Nutrition has many years of experience calculating the nutrient composition of recipes for labels, menu boards and magazines. Using your product recipe we can take the hassle out of nutrition labelling compliance whilst providing an inexpensive, confidential and personal service to your business. Contact Anne for details.
You’ve got nutrition information on your product labels, so that’s it – job done and you are fully FIR compliant now….right?
Well, yes and no!
Whether you have had your nutrition information calculated or analysed, it is only going to be valid for the recipe as it was at the time of the analysis. If in the future you decide to tweak the recipe, change the way it is processed or launch new products, then you have to make sure you have the nutrition information updated and incorporated on the pack or label before you even begin selling the product.
Even if you never ever change the recipe, nutrient contents of raw materials can change over time so it’s good practice to review your nutrition declaration approximately every 2 to 3 years. You may need to do this more frequently if you are using a lot of ingredients that have sub-recipes of their own, as your suppliers may also make improvements or changes to their products. Make sure you keep up-to-date specifications or information about all your raw materials so that you are aware if there are any changes that will impact upon your ingredients, allergen and nutrition labels.
Is nutrition information here to stay? What about Brexit?
The idea that following Britain’s decision to leave the EU means that we no longer have to follow EU law is a myth I’m afraid. A spokesperson from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute had said that any changes in food regulation wouldn’t come into effect until at least two years from now so in the meantime the current EU food regulations still stand. The government has even stated that following Brexit there will be greater flexibility for front-of-pack nutrition information, as currently under EU law, it is only voluntary so, it certainly looks like it is here to stay!
If you have now found yourself in the unfortunate position that the 13 December deadline has passed and you have not implemented the new rules on nutrition labelling yet, make sure you take action as soon as possible. AB food nutrition specialises in recipe analysis & nutritional labelling advice, and our confidential, personalised yet cost-effective nutrition labelling solutions make us the ideal partner for a food business of any size.