Health Canada’s Proposed Changes to the Display of Nutrition Information on Food Labels

November 10, 2014 By

Health Canada proposes changes to the Nutrition Facts Table. As these changes are in line with changes already taking place in the USA, industry must be aware of the changes to remain in compliance

Health Canada is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts table for prepackaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, as well as changing the look of the Nutrition Facts table and the list of ingredients so that they can best help Canadians make informed choices when selecting foods.

Health Canada is proposing the following key changes:

  1. Increasing the prominence of Calories in the Nutrition Facts table. This would be done by moving the Calorie information to the top of the table, increasing the font size and making it bold;
  2. Grouping of nutrients in the Nutrition Facts table in such a way to allow consumers to more easily identify nutrients for which consumption should be limited and those to get enough of, based on their percent Daily Value (% DV);
  3. Adding a footnote that explains the benchmark % DV levels at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts table. The footnote would read: “5% DV or less is a little, 15% DV or more is a lot”;
  4. Declaring the amounts by weight of vitamins and mineral nutrients;
  5. Standardizing the format and improving the legibility of the list of ingredients; and
  6. Adding an optional box below the Nutrition Facts table that would provide information on bioactive components added to foods, such as caffeine.

Referring to the second point above, the nutrients of public health concern and whose consumption should be limited are as follows:

  • Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Carbohydrates

These nutrients will be placed directly under the Calories information.

The nutrients of public health concern for adequate consumption are as follows:

  • Fibre
  • Protein
  • Vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium

These nutrients will be placed directly under the list of nutrients that should be limited in consumption. Note that Vitamins A and C have been removed from this list on the current table and replaced with Vitamin D and potassium.

These proposed changes are in response to a commitment identified in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to consult with Canadian parents and consumers on ways to improve nutritional information on food labels.

Health Canada is currently evaluating responses received from Stakeholders on the proposed changes. At the same time, other proposed changes are under consultation, such as changes to the serving size declaration. Input from these consultations and other feedback and information will be used in the development of proposed amendments to the nutrition and food labeling regulations.

Food company’s must ensure that they have compliant Nutrition Facts Table. dicentra can assist with food compliance in accordance to the Canadian and U.S. regulations and guidelines. Our in-depth knowledge of novel foods and labeling requirements allow us to determine the most compliant way to market your product.

dicentra provides regulatory and scientific solutions for accelerated business growth. We specialize in the areas of natural health products, dietary supplements, foods, cosmetics and OTCs. We can be reached at 1-866-647-3279 or