Finally, a free Nutrition Facts labeling tool!
A few people have asked me for a software to print Food Nutrition Facts Labels to use in conjunction with the nutritional analysis tool of Shop’NCook software. I made some research, but couldn’t find a free nutrition facts labeling tool on the internet. As far as I can tell, there isn’t any nutrition facts labeling software at all on the Mac OS X platform and the couple of programs I tried on Windows produced good-looking labels, but they did not follow the complex FDA rules.
To fill this gap, I have written a free tool to make nutrition facts labels. It is easy to use and online, so you don’t need to download anything. Click the button below to get started or continue to read if you want more information.
What does it do?
You input the nutritional values for the different nutrients on the form and it will format them according to the FDA code, section 101.9, that implements the provisions of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) of 1990.
When labeling for food manufacturing, click here for a few tips to improve the compliance of your nutrition facts labels when using software to compute the nutritional values.
Need a bilingual nutrition facts panel for Canada?
Check this blog post!
Update 6 Jan 2008: it implements now also the amendment of July 11, 2003 about trans fat, effective January 1st 2006.
What is the serving size?
FDA rules has strict instructions on selecting the size of a serving. If you are not sure what is the serving size of your product, check the regulations.
What nutrients must be input in the form?
You must input the following compulsory nutrient values:
- total calories
- calories from fat
- total fat
- saturated fat
- trans fat
- total carbohydrate
- dietary fiber
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
Additionally, some voluntary nutrients can be added. The only voluntary nutrient supported at the time being by the form is sugar alcohol. If you need other voluntary components, let me know and I will add them as time allows.
Update 24 March 2009: I have added now support for all the optional vitamins and minerals. To add an optional vitamin or mineral, first select the checkbox “Include optional vitamins or minerals”, then select the checkboxes next to the minerals or vitamins you want to include.
Update 14 June 2009: I have added now support also for polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat and potassium. To add them or sugar alcohol to the label, select “Include voluntary components”, check the boxes next to the components you want to include, and input their values.
Update 24 February 2013: I have added support for the ingredient and allergen labeling, as well as for a name and address. To add these components to the label, check the corresponding boxes next to them. Usually, you should include all three on the same panel. Therefore, if you check one, make sure to check them all. In some cases however, you may omit the allergen labeling if the names of the allergens are already included in the ingredient list. For more information, see this post.
What are the voluntary components of the nutrition facts panel?
The voluntary components are:
- calories from saturated fat
- polyunsaturated fat
- monounsaturated fat
- soluble fiber
- insoluble fiber
- sugar alcohol (for example, the sugar substitutes xylitol, mannitol and sorbitol)
- other carbohydrate (the difference between total carbohydrate and the sum of dietary fiber, sugars, and sugar alcohol if declared)
- percent of vitamin A present as beta-carotene
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Pantothenic acid
Can the online nutrition facts tool be used for every kind of food?
No, it cannot be used in any of the following three cases:
- If the food is not targeting the general population, but less than 4-year-old children, infants, pregnant or lactating women.
- For meat and poultry products as they are regulated by USDA and are not covered by NLEA.
- If the panel must include some of voluntary components not supported by the script. A voluntary component must be included if you make a claim on your label about it or if the food is enriched by it.
Can I use the nutrition facts tool in Canada (UK, Australia, etc.)?
No, this tool is based only on US nutrition facts panel rules. If there are enough interest, I may add other countries at a later time.
Do you guarantee the nutrition facts tool follows FDA rules?
No. I have done my best to follow the FDA formatting rules to the word, but it is a free tool and I don’t guarantee I didn’t make mistakes. I guarantee however to fix promptly any mistake pointed out to me.
How do I get the nutrient values?
The USDA has a database of nutrient values for a large number of food. You can also use a cooking software like Shop’NCook to compute the nutritional analysis from a recipe.
Can I use the nutrition facts labeling tool directly from Shop’NCook software?
Not yet. Shop’NCook software can compute the nutritional values of your label, but you must then copy the computed values manually to the online labeling form. If there is enough interest, I will add a function to populate the form directly from Shop’NCook. If you would like such a function, leave a comment or send me a message.
Anyway, do I need a nutrition facts panel on my products?
If you have a small business and don’t make any health claim on your label, you probably don’t need a nutrition facts panel, but you may have to notify the FDA to be able to claim an exemption. When exempt products carry nutritional information, they must however follow the regulation. For a lot of useful information on this and on the type of claims allowed on a food product label, go here.
Get started now with the free nutrition facts label tool!