What is on a food label?

On the packaging of the food you have just purchased you will find a list of ingredients and next to this a Nutrition Information Panel. The following is an example of a nutrition panel and ingredient list for Coupland’s White Toast Sliced Bread.
 

Nutrition Information Panel

Servings per pack: 19
Serving size: 37 g

Per serve (37 grams)

Per 100 grams

Energy

380 kj (89kcal)

1030 kj (240kcal)

Protein

2.9 g

7.8 g

Fat  – Total

0.7 g

1.9 g

– Saturated

0.1 g

0.3 g

Carbohydrate – Total

17.8 g

48.2 g

 –  Sugars

0.3 g

2.3 g

Dietary Fibre

0.9 g

2.3 g

Sodium

200 mg

540 mg

INGREDIENTS: Wheat flour, Water, Yeast, Salt, Soya flour, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Vinegar, Emulsifiers (471, 472e, 481), Flour Treatment agents (170,300,516), Enzymes


The ingredients are listed in order of quantity added, starting with the largest amount first. If a product is called, for example, Sunflower and Barley, then the percentage of these ingredients in the product will be listed in brackets.

The 100 g column can be used to compare different ingredients. For example, to compare the level of dietary fibre in different bread products, use these values.

The per serve column indicates the levels of nutrients present in a given quantity of product. With a product such as bread the serving size will often be one or two slices of bread and usually this will also be named next to the serving size. However, with products that are not so easy to separate out, i.e. spreads, be careful as your serving size may be a larger amount than that listed on the pack. Try weighing out what you actually use and compare this to the packaging to give yourself an idea of how much extra/less you are consuming.

Energy is listed in two different formats, kJ or kcal. One calorie equals 4.3 kJ.

For fat, the total fat value and saturated fat must be listed. The total fat value listed includes the saturated fat portion. On some products, levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may also be listed. It is important to check the levels of fat and saturated fat present in a food – the lower the better.

Similarly for carbohydrates, the total value also includes the sugars content listed.

The Food Regulations require that sodium is listed on the nutrition panel. To calculate the amount of salt present in a food, multiply the sodium content per 100 g by 2.5. Other nutrients are sometimes listed on the nutritional panel, although this is dependent on the product. For example, the amount of calcium is listed in the nutritional panel for Tip Top’s Up HiFibre and Calcium Bread.