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Understanding food labels

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your
MENU
Helping you
and your
team to be
compliant
Food labelling, ingredients
and legislation
2
The UFS Food Labelling Guide 2012 is published by:
Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
15 Nollsworth Crescent, La Lucia Rid...
14
As a chef or manager, the comfort and wellbeing of your guests
is always the first priority.
Your guests are better info...
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http://www.unileverfoodsolutions.co.za/our-services/your-menu/Seductive_Nutrition | In the food service industry, it is important to understand food labels. Not only will this ensure that you prepare delicious meals, but also correctly list ingredients on menus. Understanding food labelling will ensure that your guests remain happy.

http://www.unileverfoodsolutions.co.za/our-services/your-menu/Seductive_Nutrition | In the food service industry, it is important to understand food labels. Not only will this ensure that you prepare delicious meals, but also correctly list ingredients on menus. Understanding food labelling will ensure that your guests remain happy.

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Understanding food labels

  1. 1. 1 your MENU Helping you and your team to be compliant Food labelling, ingredients and legislation
  2. 2. 2 The UFS Food Labelling Guide 2012 is published by: Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd. 15 Nollsworth Crescent, La Lucia Ridge La Lucia Ridge Office Estate La Lucia 4051 www.ufs.com Copyright © 2012 This work is the property of Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd. This work is protected under the Berne Convention. In terms of the Copyright Act 98 of 1998, no part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published in this work is accurate, Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd, the editors, publishers and printers take no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of the reliance upon the information contained therein.
  3. 3. 14 As a chef or manager, the comfort and wellbeing of your guests is always the first priority. Your guests are better informed about their food choices than ever before. They want to know what’s in the meal they’re ordering, so they can make the best selection according to their needs. As legislation advances, you’ll want to be in compliance. Understanding food labels That’s why if any of them ask you questions about the exact ingredients in your food, it’s crucial that you, as a food expert, know how to read the label accurately, and that you’re able to answer any dietary queries with confidence. This chapter summarises the information you can find on a food label and provides a practical step plan that will help you to analyse which ingredients and allergens are present in your own dishes. What information does a food label provide? • Product name and description. • Which nutrients, and in what quantities, are present. • Warnings if a food contains food allergens. • Whether the food is fresh or out of date. • Storage, preparation or cooking advice. • A list of product ingredients. • Information on where the food was produced and by which company.
  4. 4. 1515 Ingredients list & food additives Food recall information Allergen information Storage requirements Country of origin Date mark A food label contains information that is required by law. Essentially, they are there to provide us with basic information about what is in the food we eat and how best to handle it. Chapter 2 Understanding food labels Name and description of food Nutrition labelling
  5. 5. 16 Food names and descriptions Without exception, food labels must give a name for the food or describe the true nature of the food. For instance it is not acceptable just to brand a product as ‘beef stock’. Correctly, it should be: ‘Beef flavoured stock granules’. The intention is that product names be completely accurate, so that they can’t misinform or deceive the consumer. The list of ingredients Ingredients are always listed from greatest to smallest by how much they weigh (including any added water) at the time they are added to the product. In the ingredient list you will also find additives (E-numbers) and allergens listed. Exceptions: On the following products you often do not find any ingredients: • Fresh vegetables, fruit and potatoes. • Water with carbon dioxide. • Fermentation vinegar. • Sour milk and cream. • Alcoholic drinks. • Food that consists of 1 ingredient, e.g. coffee. Characterising ingredients If you see a percentage in brackets next to a particular ingredient, e.g. apples (26%), this is known as the characterising ingredient. It lists the proportion of the ingredient/component included in the product – in this example, what percentage of your apple pie is actually apple. Ingredients: Maltodextrin, flavouring, corn flour, sugar, starch, hydrolysed vegetable protein, salt, flavour enhancers (E631, E627, E920), onion powder, vegetable oil (palm fruit) (contains antioxidant TBHQ), colourant (E150d), thickener (E412), garlic powder, yeast extract.
  6. 6. 17 For further information on food ingredients & additives go to Chapter 3 Allergens A further mandatory requirement is that the common food allergens: crustaceans, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soybeans, tree nuts, molluscs, cereals containing gluten and their products, are always included in the ingredient list. For further information on food allergens go to Chapter 4. Food additives Food additives are listed in the ingredient list by their functional name and by a number* or chemical name, e.g. flavour enhancer (E621 or monosodium glutamate). *Please note labelling of E-numbers is not mandatory in South Africa. Chapter 2 Understanding food labels Good to know Some food labels say ‘may contain e.g. nuts’. This means that even though nuts haven’t been included in the food deliberately, the manufacturer can’t be sure that the product doesn’t accidentally contain small amounts of them. Allergens: contains wheat gluten and cow’s milk. This product is made in a factory that also processes soya and egg. 17 For further information on food ingredients and additives go to Chapter 3.
  7. 7. 18 Nutrition information table The nutrition information table provides information on the amounts of key nutrients in the product using quantity per 100g/ml and per serving. To learn more about the nutrition table go to Chapter 5. Claims Claims on pack can be used to promote the main benefits of a product and/ or brand. Claims can either be simple, direct statements but can also be presented in the form of logos and symbols. For chefs, claims on the product application such as ‘bain-marie stable’, ‘freeze thaw stable’ and ‘instant application’ can be as appealing as claims on the product quality such as ‘organic’, ‘made with natural ingredients’, ‘made with cage free eggs’. Also the suitability for various dietary requirements such as ‘lactose-free’, ‘gluten-free’, ‘vegetarian’, ‘without allergens’ or nutrition claims such as ‘high in fibre’, ‘low in fat’, ‘low calorie’ and ‘low in sodium’ can be relevant information for chefs. Chapter 6 will show you some of the most common symbols and logos you’re likely to come into contact with.
  8. 8. 19 Storage, preparation and preservability instructions ‘Keep refrigerated’ and ‘Store in a cool, dark place’ are important storage instructions that help you make sure food stays safe. To ensure food is safe for consumption always follow any storage, preparation or cooking instructions shown on the label, including heating and defrosting times. To learn more about different storage instructions and date marks go to Chapter 7. Date marks Food labels have date marks to tell us about the safe shelf life of foods. These date marks help us tell how long food can be kept before it begins to deteriorate and lose key quality characteristics, like taste and colour. Chapter 2 Understanding food labels Preparation instructions Preparation and/or dosing instructions tell you how to prepare/ dose the product. They are developed to ensure the best flavour and quality, and the optimal use in your kitchen. Based on the dosing instruction the nutrition data of the prepared product is shown in the nutrition table. When you follow this preparation instruction you know the nutrition data of your prepared food. The yield of the prepared product is also calculated based on the on-pack preparation instruction. This information helps you to ensure that you use the amount of product which is most cost efficient and delivers great taste.
  9. 9. 20 Net quantity indication The net quantity indication of the product is provided in ml, litre, g or kg. This is the weight of the product excluding the weight of the packaging material. Traceability information To enable full traceability, it is a legal requirement that food labels show the name and business address of the manufacturer or supplier (packer, vendor or importer), together with the lot and batch number of the food (or date coding). 20 Country of origin If you want to understand more about where the food you buy comes from, you can look for the ‘Country of Origin’ information on pack. This information describes the country or countries where your food was manufactured or packaged.
  10. 10. 21 Step plan – How to write your own ingredient and allergy declaration Ingredient statement 1. List the ingredients you use in your dish in their raw state in the order of their quantity – from highest quantity to the lowest. 2. Copy the ingredient list of every processed ingredient. 3. Write the ingredient statement for your dish in the order of the ingredients listed in step 1 (highest quantity to the lowest). This step plan helps you to write an ingredient and allergy declaration for your dishes. This will help you to answer questions from guests with dietary requirements (e.g. food allergies). Chapter 2 Understanding food labels Good to know • Your menu may contain both processed and non- processed ingredients. Non-processed ingredients often don’t have an ingredient list. In this case just include the name of the ingredient. • Each ingredient should be separated by a comma. • Ingredients should be listed with the product and brand name to ensure that the statement is accurate and the ingredient can be clearly identified.
  11. 11. 22 Allergen statement 1. Check for the ‘Common Food Allergens’ in the ingredient statement of the dish (Chapter 4). 2. Write the allergen statement for your dish by listing the allergens in alphabetical order. The ingredient and allergen statement is only accurate if the exact ingredients in exact quantities are utilized when cooking the dish. Update your statement as needed (e.g. change in ingredients, change in quantities used etc). Good to know • Most processed ingredients list allergens on the packaging, helping you to identify which are the allergens in your dish. If not please contact your supplier’s helpdesk. • Most naturally grown ingredients do not have allergen information on pack. For these ingredients please check if they are classified as common food allergens. • For detailed information on common allergens please refer to the Dietary requirements chapter. • Remember that allergens can enter a dish through cross contamination during preparation and serving.
  12. 12. 23 Chapter 2 Understanding food labels
  13. 13. 242 Data sources The Consumer Protection Act South African Government Online, 2012. What is the Consumer protection Act. [Online] http:// www.info.gov.za [Retrieved on 10 October 2012] Eldin Food Consulting, 2012. Your Specialist in Food Safety and Labelling. [Online] http://www. eldin.co.za [Retrieved on 10 October 2012] A Guide to the Consumer Protection Act, PDF Online, 2012. What is the Consumer Protection Act? [Online PDF] http://www.restaurant.org.za/ pdf/A_Guide_To_The_Consumer_Protection_Act. pdf [Retrieved 10 October 2012] Understanding food labels South African Department of Health, 2012. Food Control – Legislation [Online] http://www.doh. gov.za/ [Retrieved 4th December 2012] Food ingredients & additives The Multilingual Food Information Site, 2012. Food Additives. [Online] http://www.food-info. net [Retrieved 20 August 2012] European Food Information Council, 2012. Focus on Food Additives. [Online] http://www.eufic.org [Retrieved 20 August 2012] US Food and Drug Administration, 2012. Food Additives. [Online] http://www.fda.gov [Retrieved 20 August 2012] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, 2012. [Online PDF] http://www.fao.org/ food/food-safety-quality/scientific-advice/jecfa/ jecfa-additives/en [Retrieved 20 August 2012] L. K. Mahan; S. Escott-Stump. Krause’s Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Elsevier. 11th edition. 2004 E. Whitney; S. Rady Rolfes. Understanding Nutrition. Wadsworth Publishing. 11th edition. 2007 REGULATION (EC) No 1333/2008 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 December 2008 on food additives http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ. do?uri=OJ:L:2008:354:0016:0033:en:PDF COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1129/2011 of 11 November 2011 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council by establishing a Union list of food additives http://eur-lex. europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ. do?uri=OJ:L:2011:295:0001:0177:En:PDF Dietary requirements Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, 2012. Common Food Allergens. [Online] http://www. foodallergy.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] European Food Information Council, 2012. Focus on Food Allergens. [Online] http://www.eufic.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] The Food Allergy Initiative, 2012. Food Allergies Overview. [Online] http://www.faiusa.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] National Health Service, 2012. Living With Allergy. [Online] http://www.nhs.uk [Retrieved 4th December 2012] Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2012. Food- Consumer Centre – Food Allergies. [Online] http://www.inspection.gc.ca [Retrieved 4th December 2012] Allergy Society of South Africa, 2012. Page for Patients. [Online] http://www.allergysa.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] The Anaphylaxis Campaign, 2012. Food and Catering. [Online] http://www.anaphylaxis.org. uk [Retrieved 4th December 2012] The British Allergy Foundation, 2012. Types of Allergies. [Online] http://www.allergyuk.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] Statistics South Africa. Census 2001. 10th October 2001. http://www.statssa.gov.za/ census01/html/default.asp [Retrieved 30th October 2011] Statistics South Africa. Mid-year population estimates 2010. http://www.statssa.gov.za/ publications/P0302/P03022010.pdf [Retrieved 23rd July 2010]
  14. 14. 243 The Vegetarian Society, 2012. Food – Help for Caterers. [Online] http://www.vegsoc.org/page. aspx?pid=506 [Retrieved 4th December 2012] The British Diabetic Foundation, 2012. Caring for People with Diabetes. [Online] http://www. diabetes.org.uk [Retrieved 4th December 2012] The American Heart Association, 2012. Getting Healthy – Nutrition Centre. [Online] http://www. heart.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] Nutrition Education Services – Oregon Dairy Council, 2012. Dash Diet Eating Plan. [Online] http://www.dashdietoregon.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, 2012. Food Service Kit. [Online] http://www. ifanca.org [Retrieved 4th December 2012] KIR Kosher Food Certification, 2012. What Does Kosher Mean? [Online] http://www. koshercertification.org.uk/whatdoe.html [Retrieved 4th December 2012] Nutrition table The World Health Organisation, 2012. Health Topics – Nutrition. [Online] http://www.who.int [Retrieved 4th December 2012] World Health Organization. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Geneva, WorldHealth Organization. 2003 (WHO Technical Report Series, No. 916) Symbols and logos Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, 2012. Healthy Heart. [Online] http://www. heartfoundation.co.za [Retrieved 15 November 2012] SASSI – The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative, 2012. [Online] http://www. wwfsassi.co.za [Retrieved 15 November 2012] Marine Stewardship Council, Certified Sustainable Seafood, 2012. [Online] http:// www.msc.org [Retrieved 15 November 2012] Fairtrade Label South Africa, 2012. What is Fairtrade. [Online] http://www.fairtradelabel.org. za [Retrieved 15 November 2012] Proudly South African, 2012. What is Proudly South African? [Online] http://www.proudlysa. co.za [Retrieved 15 November 2012] Storage Colorado State University-Extension, 2012.Food Storage for Safety and Quality. [Online] http:// www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09310.htm [Retrieved 04 December 2012] Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and Oregonian Food Day, 2012. Food Storage Chart - Food Storage Guidelines – Shelf Life of Food - Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart. [Online] http://whatscookingamerica.net/ Information/FreezerChart.htm [Retrieved 04 December 2012] Help With Series, 2012. Guide to home refrigeration and the correct storage of cooked and fresh food items.[Online] http:// www.helpwithcooking.com/food-storage/ refrigeration-tips.html [Retrieved 04 December 2012] Center for Foodservice Learning, 2010 – 2011. Storing Food Safely - Home Storage Practices. [Online] http://www.food-safety-and-you.com/ StoringFoodSafety.html [Retrieved 04 December 2012] When in Doubt – Throw it Out!, Fight Bac Campaign, USDA. Refrigerator and Freezer Safety. [Online] http://www.wvu.edu/~exten/ infores/pubs/fypubs/136.wlg.pdf [Retrieved 04 December 2012] Help With Series, 2012. How to test an egg’s freshness, see if your egg’s are fresh, 2001-2012. [Online] http://www.helpwithcooking.com/ egg-guide/fresh-egg-test.html [Retrieved 04 December 2012]
  15. 15. 244 Storage continued... Answers Corporation, 2012. Is it safe to eat expired canned food? [Online] http://wiki.answers.com/Q/ Is_it_safe_to_eat_expired_canned_food [Retrieved 04 December 2012] University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2012. Refrigerated and Freezer Storage. [Online] http://food.unl.edu/ web/safety/refrigerator-freezer. [Retrieved 04 December 2012] State Government of Victoria, 2012. Food safety – storage. [Online] http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/ bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Food_safety_storage. [Retrieved 04 December 2012] Still Tasty, 2012 . Three ways to defrost food safely. [Online] http://www.stilltasty.com/articles/view/9. [Retrieved 05 December 2012] Favorite Freezer Foods, 2008-2011. Can you refreeze food that thawed? [Online] http://www. favoritefreezerfoods.com/refreeze-food.html [Retrieved 05 December 2012] State Government of Victoria, 2012. Food safety when cooking. [Online]. http://www.betterhealth. vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Food_safety_ when_cooking. [Retrieved 05 December 2012] CBS Interactive, 2012. How long does fresh fish keep in the fridge? [Online] http://chowhound. chow.com/topics/276180 [Retrieved 05 December 2012]

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