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How Much Information should be listed on Food Labels?
A food label is a piece of paper or panel that is attached to a food package which provides information about the nutritional value of the food in the package. There are food standards that have been set to act as guidelines on what should be contained in food labels. For example, the USA has set a certain code for food industries to act as a standard for food labelling. This code ensures that the information contained on the food labels is relevant, not too much nor too little. This paper makes an effort to explain just how much information is required on food labels.
What should be contained on food labels? Food labels have a purpose of informing the consumers the nutritional values of the food contained in the packages, the ingredients, health claims, the manufacturer and best before dates. Food labels should give a description of the food, name of the manufacturer, any warning statements, listing of ingredients, date marking, the directions of use, and country of origin, nutritional information and any health hazards or allergic reactions associated with the food item. This helps a consumer decide on whether to purchase the food item or not. Some people do not even check the food labels even for best before dates but this does not mean that food labels are not important.
In the United States, the following information is required by the law to be listed on the food labels; total calories, total carbohydrates, total saturated fat, total fat, total sugars, vitamin D, cholesterol, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber. The ingredients on the food labels are also supposed to be listed in a descending order based on their weight.
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