Informative labeling allows people to make healthy food choices, so the nutritional facts panel has a core role to play in American wellbeing. The FDA is hoping to extend compliance dates for its new nutritional labeling regulations to 2020. The new regulations include:
- Vitamin A should be measured in micrograms per retinol activity. This allows consumers to view various forms of vitamin A, which will help to prevent overdoses.
- Vitamin D will be measured in micrograms instead of IUs.
- Vitamin E will be measured in milligrams RRR-a-Tocopherol. This way, naturally occurring and synthetic vitamin E can be distinguished.
- Folic Acid will be measured in mcg Dietary Folate Equivalents so that consumers can learn more about bioavailability.
- Choline is a new voluntary nutrient.
New Daily Values
Some daily values have risen, and some have decreased. Sodium, B-complex vitamins, and chromium have been pushed up. The only nutrient that remains unchanged is folate.
The FDA has changed the definition of dietary fiber to pinpoint which types of fiber are beneficial to human health. Ingredients like inulin are no longer categorized as fiber as they have no positive effects on digestion. The recommended daily intake has also increased.
New Nutrition Facts Label
The food label itself has been given a new look, with calories and serving sizes appearing in bold. Added sugars have been given their own line to help consumers to tell the difference between naturally occurring and added ingredients. Recommended daily values will be easier to find, and consumers will need to learn how to evaluate natural states and sources.
Nutrition Panel Compliance Deadlines
Originally, the FDA required manufacturers to comply with the new labels by summer of 2018. As of September, they proposed extending the deadline to 2020 for manufacturers with over $10 million in annual food sales and 2021 for those with less annual sales. The current nutritional label hasn’t offered enough guidance. Consumers will soon be able to take better control of their eating, although it’s not yet clear whether the deadline extension will be offered.