Nutrition content claims
If your food or drink product contains certain nutrients or biologically active substances, there are rules on what and how you can make nutrition claims on labels and in advertising. These rules also apply to saying a nutrient is absent, such as 'fat free' and 'gluten free'.
Some types of food and drink may not make nutrition claims.
You must also check whether a claim is classified as a 'nutrition content claim' or a 'health claim':
Proving nutrition content claims
Your business must have documents to support any nutrition content claims about your product, such as test results, checklists or templates.
If your nutrition content claim talks about levels of or presence of a nutrient, vitamin or mineral, you must include this on your Nutrition Information Panel.
Wording nutrition content claims
If your claim relates to your food product when altered after sale (e.g. cooked by the buyer), the wording of your claim must make this clear.
Words you may use
Schedule 4, Part 3 of the Food Standards defines what many words mean when used as part of a nutrition claim, for example 'diet', '-free', 'light' (or lite), 'good source', 'low', 'high':
If the claim you want to make doesn't fit the definitions in Schedule 4, Part 3, you cannot use synonyms of these words to make the claim.
Properties not covered in Schedule 4
If you want to make a claim about a property of your food not covered in Schedule 4, Part 3 of the Food Standards, you may only say the food:
- contains, or doesn't contain, that property.
- contains a given amount of the property.
You can't use any of the describing worlds in Schedule 4, Part 3, for example, 'low in', '-free' or 'good source'.
For example, you can say, 'contains ketones', 'contain no ketones' or 'contains 1g of ketones per serve'.
You cannot say, 'low in ketones', 'good source of ketones' or 'ketone-free'.
Choline, fluoride or folic acid
If you want to make a claim about choline, fluoride or folic acid, you may only say the food:
- contains or doesn't contain choline, fluoride or folic acid, or
- contains a specified amount of choline, fluoride or folic acid.
You may not use any of the describing words in Schedule 4, Part 3, such as 'low in', '-free' or 'good source'.
Suggesting slimming effects
Even if your food may use the word 'diet', you must not use words on your label that suggest your food is slimming.
Claims that compare foods
If your nutrition claim:
- compares your food's nutrition content with another food, or
- uses the word diet, light (or lite), increased, reduced or similar words,
you must be clear:
- which food you're comparing yours with, and
- how different the property is in the food your comparing with.
For example, you may say: 'Each serving contains double the potassium of a banana'.
You may not say, 'Contains more potassium'.
More about nutrition claims
We've given information on this page that applies to many food businesses. There are exceptions and special conditions. Food businesses must read the food standards and make sure your label meets the conditions.
What else should be on a food label?
Has this been useful? Give us your feedback