Food Testing and Labeling
The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) states that all food intended for retail sale must have nutrition facts on the package. Foods that contain insignificant amounts of all the nutrients required in the declaration of nutrition facts are not required to have a nutrition label. This would be where all ingredients round to zero or less than one gram. Some examples of this would be coffee beans, tea, some spices. There are some exemptions to the rule.
- The producer employs less than 100 full-time employees and sells fewer than 100,000 units of the product per year. To qualify for the exemption, you must file a notice annually with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
- Retailers with annual gross sales of $500,000 or less, or sales of food products of less than $50,000, are exempt and do not have to file for the exemption with FDA.
If any nutrient content claim (e.g., “sugar free”), health claim or other nutrition information is provided on the label or in labeling or advertising, the small business exemption is not applicable for that product.
Nutrition Facts Label Assistance
Alabama Extension can assist businesses in the creation of nutrition facts labels
These nutrition facts labels are generated using the Genesis R & D software from ESHA Research. The information needed to complete a label includes:
- Complete list of ingredients and amounts of each. Amounts listed by weight of the ingredient will result in a more accurate label. Be sure to specify if the ounces are by weight or by volume (fluid ounces).
- Yield of the recipe—how much does it make.
- Retail package size—how much product is in your retail package.
- About ingredients—BE SPECIFIC! For example, if you have a baked product and flour is an ingredient, keep in mind there are many types of flour–bleached, unbleached, self-rising, whole wheat, etc. Including a scan or picture of the label with the ingredients panel is helpful.
- Recipes are kept confidential.
- To ensure accuracy of nutrition facts panels please include the brand name of each ingredient if applicable. Include copies of each ingredient’s nutrition facts panel, ingredients, and allergen statement if possible. In the “additional information,” column include any additional information about the ingredient that would help describe the ingredient (i.e. canned, fresh, no added salt, gluten-free, from concentrate, etc.). All weights and measures must be accurate. Failure to provide accurate weights and measures will delay testing and possibly result in an inaccurate nutrition facts panel. Do not give numbers of items (i.e. 3 peppers) without a weight or measure, instead provide the total weight or measure of the items (i.e. ½ pound green bell peppers).
In-state: $100.00 per recipe or formula
Out-of-state: $200.00 per recipe