’Smart Choices’ food labeling launched for U.S. products
By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
17 June, 2009
Seafood product manufacturers can now submit products for approval in an optional new nutritional labeling program for the front of food packages.
The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and NSF International, an independent certifying organization, will administer the Smart Choices Program™ designed to make labels and the nutrition content of foods and beverages more clear.
Seafood products that could use the new labels – if they meet the nutritional criteria -- include canned tuna and frozen seafood meals. The labels will be used across 19 different product categories, including beverages, meats, dairy, snacks and cereals.
To qualify for the Smart Choices program, products must meet a set of nutritional standards that include limits on total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, added sugars and sodium. The products could also qualify if they have certain levels of fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and E.
The program, which was developed through a collaboration of scientists, public health advocates, food industry representatives and health organizations, identifies foods based on science-based nutrition criteria.
“With the proliferation of front-of-pack labels, there is little uniformity, which often makes it difficult for manufacturers to convey the nutritional benefits of their products and can cause consumer confusion,” said ASN and NSF. “The Smart Choices Program™ will make it easier for consumers to quickly identify products, and select smart food and beverage choices within product categories.”
Products that are approved will feature the Smart Choices icon on the front of the package, along with the number of calories per serving and the number of servings in the package.
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17 June, 2009