Health Canada Announces Changes to Nutritonal Labeling

Nutritional Facts LabelOn October 24, 2016 Health Canada announced the Healthy Eating Strategy for Canada with the intent to help Canadian consumers make heathier choices when purchasing processed foods. 

The intent is to provide consumers with nutrition information that is easily understood, truthful and accurate. In addition, standardized labeling will enable consumers to compare the nutritional values of similar products.  To this end we can expect to see updated regulations for ingredient listings and nutrition facts tables.

As well, Health Canada is proposing mandatory front-of-packaging nutrition labeling, in the form of symbols, for foods high in nutrients (sugars, sodium, saturated fat) that are deemed to increase the risk of obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.  Other components under review are health claims and sweetener information.

It is hoped that a front-of-package approach that highlights sodium, sugars and saturated fats will encourage the food industry to reformulate foods to be lower in these nutrients.  High barrier materials and coatings and packaging processes can assist the food industry in this endeavour.

You are encouraged to review the proposal and participate in the Health Canada consultation (deadline January 13, 2017) for consumers, food processors and stakeholders, particularly the packaging industry.

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