Added: an acceptable synonym for “more,” but the addition must alter the #food.
Best if Used By Date: It is recommended that a food be used by this date for optimal quality. Depending on the food, it may still besafe to eat after this date.
Calorie-free: Less than five calories per serving size or RACC.
Cholesterol-free: The food contains less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
Contains a small amount of: An acceptable synonym for “low in”.
Contains sulfites: Listed on the labels of beer and wine for people who are sensitive to sulfites.
Daily Value (DV): A Daily Value is the daily nutrient requirement for the average consumer. Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie #diet and indicate the amount of each nutrient in a single serving of the food relative to what the FDA has determined to be the recommended Daily Value.
Enriched: The addition of nutrients in order to replace vitamins or minerals that have been removed during the food manufacturing process.
Excellent Source of: Contains 20 percent or more of the DV per serving or RACC for the indicated nutrient. May also be used on meals or main dishes to indicate that the product contains enough of a particular nutrient to meet the definition.
Extra: An acceptable synonym for “more,” but the addition must alter the food.
Extra-lean: May be used on seafood or game meat products that contain less than 5 grams total fat, less than 2 grams saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams cholesterol per serving size or RACC, and on meals or main dishes that meet these criteria per 100 grams or per labeled serving.
Fat-free: A fat–free food must have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.
Few: An acceptable synonym for “low in”.
Fewer: An acceptable synonym for “less than”.
Fortified: A food that is “fortified” is used as a vehicle to get under-consumed nutrients into the food supply. Fortification is the process by which nutrients and minerals are added to a food that never had them to begin with.
Free: Synonymous with no, without, and zero. The product contains none (or only a trivial or physiologically inconsequential amount) of one or more of these components: fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars and calories. Other terms might be trivial source of, negligible source of, dietary insignificant source of, non-(for non-fat only)
Fresh: Any raw or unprocessed food is considered fresh. This term can be used only for a food that is raw, has never been frozen or heated, and contains no preservatives (irradiation at low levels is allowed).
Fresh frozen: Or “frozen fresh” and “freshly frozen” can be used for foods that are quickly frozen while still fresh. Blanching (brief scalding before freezing to prevent nutrient breakdown) is allowed.
Good source: One serving contains or provides 10 to 19 percent of the DV per serving size or RACC for the indicated nutrient. The term may be also used on meals or main dishes to indicate that the product contains a enough of a particular nutrient to meet the definition.
#Health related terms (“health,” “healthful,” “healthfully,” “healthfulness,” “healthier,” “healthiest,” “healthily” and “healthiness”): When you see the term “healthy” on the label you can have a certain level of confidence that the food meets the requirements listed below. Even if the word “healthy” appears only in the name of the product (such as Healthy Choice), it must meet these requirements.
- Total fat = 3 grams or less per serving/RACC; for meals and main dishes, 3 grams or less per 100 grams and not more than 30 percent of calories from fat.
- Saturated fat = 1 gram or less per serving/RACC and 15 percent or less calories from saturated fat; for meals and main dishes, 1 gram or less per 100 grams and less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.
- Sodium = 480 milligrams or less per serving/RACC; for meals and main dishes 600 milligrams or less.
- Cholesterol = 60 milligrams or less per serving/RACC; for meals and main dishes 90 milligrams or less.
- Beneficial nutrients = Contains at least 10 percent of Daily Value per serving/RACC for vitamins A, C, calcium, iron, protein or fiber (there is an exception for raw and canned fruits and vegetables).“High in” or “Excellent Source Of”: Synonymous with rich in. The food contains 20 percent or more of the Daily Value per serving for a particular nutrient.
Homogenized: This is a process used to break up and separate the fat in milk in order to give it a smooth and uniform texture.
Lean: May be used on seafood or game meat products that contain less than 10 grams total fat, 4.5 grams or less saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams cholesterol per serving size or RACC, and for meals and main dishes that meet these criteria per 100 grams or per labeled serving. It can also be used on mixed dishes not measurable with a cup that contain less than 8 grams total fat, 3.5 grams or less saturated fat and less than 80 milligrams cholesterol per serving size or RACC. Even if the word “lean” appears only in the name of the product (such as Lean Cuisine), it must meet these requirements.
Less: Synonymous with fewer. The food, whether altered or not, contains 25 percent less of a nutrient or calories than the reference food. For example, pretzels that have 25 percent less fat than potato chips could carry a “less” claim.
Light or Lite: A nutritionally altered product that contains one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the reference food. If the food derives 50 percent or more of its calories from fat, the reduction must be 50 percent of the fat. Light also means the meal or main dish is low-fat or low-calorie. Note that the term “light” can also be used to describe such properties as texture and color, as long as the label explains the intent, for example “light brown sugar” and “light and fluffy.”
Light in Sodium: The sodium content must be reduced by at least 50 percent.
Little: An acceptable synonym for “low.”
Low: Synonymous with little, low source of, contains a small amount of, and few. Used on foods that can be eaten frequently without exceeding dietary guidelines for one or more of these components: fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories.
Low source of: an acceptable synonym for “low.”
Low-cholesterol: The food contains 20 milligrams or less of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving of a single food or per 100 grams of a meal.
Low in saturated fat: The food contains 1 gram or less in a serving or no more than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.
Low-calorie: 40 calories or less per serving size or RACC (and per 50 grams if RACC is small).
Low-fat: 3 grams of fat or less per serving.
Low-sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving size or RACC, or per 50 grams if RACC is small. For meals and main dishes, 140 milligrams or less per 100 grams.
More: Synonymous with added, enriched, fortified, plus, and extra. The serving of food, whether altered or not, contains a nutrient that is at least 10 % of the Daily Value more than the reference food. The 10 % of Daily Value also applies.
No: An acceptable synonym for “free.”
No Sugar Added: “No added sugars” and “without added sugars” claims are allowed if no sugar or sugar–containing ingredients (for example, fruit juices, applesauce or dried fruit) are added during processing or packing. Pay attention though, because this claim is allowed even if the food is not “low calorie” or “reduced calorie.”
Pack Date: The date a food was manufactured, processed or packaged.
Pasteurized: This is a high temperature heating process that is applied to raw eggs and milk in order to destroy bacteria and inactivate most enzymes that cause spoilage.
% Percent fat-free: The food must be a low-fat or a fat-free product. In addition, the claim must accurately reflect the amount of fat present in 100 grams of the food. Thus, if a food contains 2.5 grams fat per 50 grams, the claim must be “95 % fat free.”
% Percent Fruit Juice: The total percentage of real fruit juice in a juice drink. It enables the consumer to know exactly how much juice is in a product.
% Percent Lean: Refers to the percentage of fat weight in the total weight of the meat, not the percent of calories.
PKU (phenylketonuria) and Aspartame: This is a disease in which the body cannot metabolize an amino acid called phenylalanine. Therefore, all products with aspartame are required to contain a warning because aspartame contains phenylalanine.
Plus: An acceptable synonym for “more,” but the food must be altered.
Reduced: A nutritionally altered product contains at least 25 % less of a nutrient or of calories than the regular, or reference, product. However, it is important to note that a reduced claim cannot be made on a product if its reference food already meets the requirement for a “low” claim. Other terms: fewer, lower, lower in.
Reduced saturated fat: 1 gram or less per serving size or RACC and 15 percent or less of calories from saturated fat (or for meals and main dishes, 1 gram or less per 100 grams and less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat).
Reduced sodium: At least 25 percent less sodium per serving size or RACC than a comparable food without reduced or low sodium (or for meals and main dishes, at least 25 percent less sodium per 100 grams).
Reduced calorie: At least 25 percent fewer calories per serving size or RACC than a comparable food without reduced calories. Or, for meals and main dishes, 120 calories or less per 100 grams.
Reduced fat: To qualify as a reduced–fat food, the product must have at least 25 percent less fat per serving than the original version.
Reduced sugar: At least 25 percent less sugar per serving size or RACC than a comparable food without reduced sugar (or for meals and main dishes, at least 25 percent less sugar per 100 grams). This claim may not be used on dietary supplements or vitamins and minerals.
Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC): Also known as serving size. The RACC is determined from the data results of national food consumption surveys. These surveys are performed by asking people how much of a particular food they normally consume. The problem is that most people underestimate the amount of foods they eat, so serving sizes based on what people report are not very realistic.
Rich in: An acceptable synonym for “high”.
Saturated fat-free: Less than 0.5 grams saturated fat and less than 0.5 grams trans fatty acids per RACC or per serving if the serving size is larger.
Sell by Date This is the last date that a food is to be sold in order to stay fresh for home storage.
Serving Size: The amount of food the average person is likely to eat. These are set by the FDA. The amounts are based on data from national food consumption surveys performed by asking people how much of a particular food they normally consume this is called Reference Amount Customarily Consumed or RACC. The FDA is considering changing this to make sure that it is more accurate.
Skim: An acceptable synonym for fat-free milk.
Sodium-free: Less than 5 milligrams per serving size or RACC (or for meals and main dishes, less than 5 milligrams per serving if the serving size is larger). Contains no sodium chloride or any ingredient that is generally understood to contain sodium. “Salt Free” must also meet the criteria for “Sodium Free.”
Sugar-free: Sugar free means less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. But this doesn’t necessarily mean the food is healthy or great for weight loss. It could mean that the food manufacturer has added more fat or sodium to improve the taste and compensate for the lack of sugar. In that case, all you’d be doing is swapping one unhealthy nutrient for another.
Trim: The fat layer that surrounds a cut of meat. Look for a trim of 1/8 inch or less. Marbled fat cannot be trimmed away because it is inside the meat, “select” and “choice” cuts have the least marbling.
UHT: Ultra Heat-Treated: A process similar to ultra pasteurization in that high temperatures and sterile containers are used to give food the ability to be stored, unopened, for up to three months. Once opened, it must be stored in a refrigerator.
Ultra-Pasteurized: This is a heating process that goes beyond pasteurization to extend the time that the product can be stored on the shelf or in the refrigerator. (Like Parmalat for example).
Very low sodium: 35 milligrams or less per serving size or RACC, or per 50 grams if serving size or RACC is small. For meals and main dishes, 35 milligrams or less per 100 grams.
Without: an acceptable synonym for “free.”
Zero: an acceptable synonym for “free.”