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Food Nutrition Label Overview



The role of Food Labels


     The Nutrition Label must contain Energy and Seven specified labeled nutrients (including Protein , Total Fat , Saturated Fat , Trans Fat , Carbohydrate , Sugar and Sodium ) . The information is called "1+7". Knowing the role of "1+7" will help you understand and use nutrition labels.

Food Label Information

























    Clearly state the name of the food . No false , misleading or defrauding elements should be made in any aspect of the nature of the food to enable the consumer to fully understand the nature and type of the food.

(B)
Food Ingredient List (I)
I. Nutrition label "1+7" ( Energy + 7 Nutrients )
    [Energy CarbohydratesSugarProteinTotal Fat
     Saturated FatTrans FatSodium]

Energy
o Used to support the activities of the human body.
o The energy units of food include kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules
   (kJ).
o 1 kcal is approximately equal to 4.2 kJ

Carbohydrate
o The main source of physical energy.
o 1 gram of carbohydrate provides 4 kcal of energy.
o Available Carbohydrates = Total Carbohydrates - Dietary Fiber

Sugar
o Sugar provides energy to the body but has no other nutritional
   value.
o Glucose is one of the sugars that provide immediate energy to the
   brain.
o Foods containing Natural Sugar. (For example: Honey, Syrup, Fruit,    Milk)
o Foods with Added Sugar. ( For example: Sweetened Juices and
   Sodas, Candies, Chocolates)

Protein
o It is essential for growth and growth of muscles, bones and teeth.
o Repair body tissue.
o 1 gram of protein provides 4 kcal energy.

Total Fat
o Fat is essential for maintaining cell membrane function, as well as
   for transporting and storing fat-soluble vitamins(including vitamins
   A, D, E, and K).
o 1 gram of fat provides 9 kcal of energy.
o 1 tablespoon of cooking oil provides approximately 14 grams of fat.

Saturated Fat
o Both saturated fat and trans fat increase the amount of low-density
   lipoprotein ("bad") cholesterol in the blood.

Trans Fat
o Trans fat also lowers the amount of high-density lipoprotein
   ("good") cholesterol in the blood.
o Eating too much saturated fat and trans fat increases the risk of
   heart disease.

Sodium
o Eating too much sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure.
o The body needs a small amount of sodium to maintain fluid balance
   and assist in the transmission of nerve impulses.
o The chemical name of the salt is sodium chloride.
o The sodium that is taken from the diet is mainly derived from salt.
   MSG, oyster sauce and sauces also contain sodium.
o 1 flat teaspoon of salt provides 2000 mg of sodium.

(C) Food Ingredient List (II)
II. Nutrition claims (voluntarily labeled nutrient information)
  [ CholesterolDietary FiberAllergensHigh Concentrations of
    Sulfites
Food AdditivesGenetically Modified Food ]

    Under the Nutrition Information Labelling System, in addition to Energy and Seven Designated Nutrients, you can also find out from the nutrition label information on certain nutrients claimed and nutrients voluntarily marked by the food industry. If the nutrition claim involves any fat (such as Total Fat, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat), the Cholesterol content should also be indicated. In addition, if the Carbohydrate content is indicated by "Total Carbohydrates", the Dietary Fiber content must also be listed.

Cholesterol
o The body can make Cholesterol by itself.
o Cholesterol is an essential element in maintaining normal cell
   production and producing hormones, vitamins and bile in the body.
o Hypercholesterolemia increases the risk of heart disease.

Dietary Fiber
o Dietary fiber can be divided into two categories:
   - Water-soluble fiber helps lower blood cholesterol levels and
     stabilize blood sugar levels.
   - Water-insoluble fiber helps normal bowel movements.
o Dietary fiber-rich foods can also help control weight.

Allergic Substance
o If the food contains substances that cause allergies. Including
   gluten-containing mites, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts or
   soybeans, milk, woody nuts and their products, the names of
   such substances shall be indicated in the ingredient list.

High Concentration Sulfite
o If the food consists of sulfites with a concentration of up to or
   exceeding 10 parts per million or contains sulfites of the above
   concentrations, the type of action of the relevant sulfites and their
   names shall be indicated in the ingredient list.

Food Additive
o If the food contains Food Additives, the label should state its own
   type of action and its correct name or "additive identification
   number" from the"Food Additive International Numbering System"
   adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, or in the system
   The identification number prefixed with "E" or "e".

Genetically Modified Food
o Genetically Modified Food refers to any food or food ingredient
   that is or is derived from an organism that has been genetically
   engineered with modern biotechnology.
o If the individual ingredients contain 5% or more of the Genetically
   Modified substance, the guidelines recommend labeling "Genetic
   Modification" on the label. In the following cases, if the Genetically
   Modified food is significantly different from the original variety, it
   is recommended to add a note on the food label :
(a) Significant differences in composition or nutritional value from
      the original variety;
(b) The levels of factors or toxic substances that impede the body's
      absorption of nutrients are significantly different from the original
      varieties ;
(c) Contains allergens not found in the original variety ;
(d) The intended use of the food is significantly different from the
      original variety ; or
(e) Add animal genes to plant-derived foods.

(D) Food Shelf Life
    In order to make the consumer aware of the date of warranty of the food, the label must be marked with the words "use by before this date" or "best befere before this date" in both English and Chinese.

(E) Special Storage
      Methods or
      Statement of Use
      Instructions
    If the prepackaged food is specially stored, its specific quality can be maintained to the indicated date of warranty, or there are special rules of use that should be clearly stated on the label.

(F) Manufacturer or
      Packager Name
      and Address
    The full name and full address of the manufacturer or packager must be clearly stated on the label or in other ways as required by law.

(G) The Quantity of
       Food, Weight or
       Volume
    Is stated by the Quantity, Net Weight or Net Volume of the food.


How to use the information on the Nutrition Label



Nutrition Label Information has many uses, and consumers can :

1. Compare the nutrients of different foods to make a healthier choice.
    [For example: pick fat, sodium (or salt) and foods with low sugar content. ]

2. Understand the nutrient composition of food and estimate the proportion of nutrients in the
    overall diet.

3. Meet the needs of personal diet.

4. Learn how to use the information on the Nnutrition Label to choose healthy food.


Want To Know More


Please visit the Food Safety Centre website :   http://www.nutritionlabel.gov.hk
Or call the 24-hour hotline : +(852) 2868 0000




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