Nutrition Facts Label Changes: What They Are and What They Mean

What Has Changed and Why : In early May of 2016, the FDA released new regulations for the Nutrition Facts labels we are so used to seeing appear on a large portion of food and beverage packages. These new regulations are designed to highlight scientific information specific to various foods enjoyed by the American consumer. In addition to detailed nutrition facts these labels will provide information on the link between obesity and heart disease. Aside from requiring calories, servings per person, and serving sizes to have bolder and larger fonts, the physical appearance of the new label maintains its “iconic” look that we are accustomed to seeing on food and beverage packages. The serving size portion of the label now displays two metrics, the amount of cups from one serving and the equivalent amount of grams per serving.  Actual gram amounts of vitamins, calcium, iron, and potassium must be declared on the label and manufacturers can choose to include the gram amount for any additional vitamins and minerals. At the bottom of the label the percent Daily Value definition is more explicit and easy to interpret by telling consumers how much of a certain nutrient in one serving of food contributes to the daily diet of an average consumer. Specifically the new caption will read, “The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.” Source FDA.             

Left: Current Label - Right: New Label. Source: Food and Drug Administration
Left: Current Label – Right: New Label.
Source: Food and Drug Administration

The biggest change to the old label is the new requirement that includes “Added Sugars” measured in grams as a percent daily value relative to a 2,000 calorie diet.  This change is pivotal because scientific studies have shown that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs and stay within calorie limits when more than 10% of one’s daily calories come from added sugars which are common in most American diets. Another change that is geared to make consumers more conscious of what nutrients are present in their food is the removal of the title “Calories from Fat” because the important information that consumers need to know, in regard to calories from fat, is the different types of fat present in different foods. The new labels will still display the amounts of Total Fat, Saturated Fat, and Trans fat in different foods because they are required by law to appear on every label.

 

This change in appearance requires manufacturers with more than $10 million in sales to have their labels display the new the nutrition fact requirements by July 26, 2018. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales will have one additional year to include the new information required on their labels. The purpose of these changes is to educate consumers about what they are eating when they eat certain amounts of food rather than act as a guideline for what amount of food is considered healthy to eat by using scientifically accurate information.

 

Why Choose Apogee

Apogee proves to be the best resource for companies required to manufacture these new labels because of the many years that they have provided nutrition facts labels for a variety of food and beverage manufacturers. In fact, the largest portion of their business is comprised of food and beverage manufacturers in the Delaware Valley and Mid-Atlantic Region.

Apogee can guide you through new or existing Nutrition Facts labeling requirements. If you need a cover-up label (opaque adhesive), a small quantity of digitally printed Nutrition Facts labels, or if you need 10 million labels then please contact us.  If you need package re-design or similar help then let our graphics department ([email protected]) give you a hand.

 

 

 

Blank Label Options and Solutions

Apogee Industries provides blank labels to customers as a result of the large growth of thermal printers, laser printers (both monochrome and color), and now ink jet printing for both cut sheet and roll labels. With these printers, customers are able to print labels for their applications on their own; however the label selection is critical to the success of the project. Apogee consults with customers to make sure they are getting the correct label solution.
Here are common questions Apogee uses to help determine the best recommendations:

  • What are the labels being applied to? (Rough surface or what type of material)
  • What environment will the label be subject to? (i.e. freezer, sun , heat)
  • How will the label be printed? (ink jet , thermal, laser)
  • Will the labels be auto or hand applied?
  • Do you have to comply with GHS (Global Harmonized System) standards or the BS 5609 standard within GHS.

Apogee Blank Labels

Custom Labels vs. Stock Labels:
Apogee Industries manufactures custom blank labels in house on presses designed to produce blank labels. Our facility includes three other large, 8 color presses to print the labels for customers who need color label printing. For more common sized or standard blank labels Apogee will carry stock on many of these labels which can be ordered directly with quick delivery times.
The main differences between custom labels and blank labels:

  • Specific quantities per roll
  • Special material
  • Core size
  • Adhesive need
  • Finished packaging

Consultation:
Many small to medium sized companies from the chemical, food, and household goods industries have been making labels in-house on their own thermal printers, ink-jet printers, or laser printers and Apogee has been there to consult them with their equipment (printer) decisions. Apogee will help you make the right decision regarding decisions for label printers and blank labels. We will also advise you what not to print yourself and let Apogee print it for you. Equipping you with knowledge, information and confidence to make the right decision is what we do!

Common Automatic Labeling Problems and Solutions

Automatic labeling systems may run into occasional problems. The labeler is typically the equipment that either fully automatically applies a label or semi-auto applies a label. A customer may have an issue where the label is not applying properly, which is typically either a problem with the label printer or the piece of application equipment. Either way, Apogee Industries are experts at solving these issues.

Here are some typical problems with automatic label application. For these types of issues we look at the following adjustments and solutions:

Problem – Liner tears during application:

The peel tip on the applicator might need to be replaced or repaired; or it might need UHMW tape (Ultra High Molecular Weight). This is like Teflon Tape only more slippery. It could also be very minute tears on the side of the paper liner which is caused at the label plant. A good sales rep should spot the differences.

Problem – Label follows Peel Tip during application :

If this occurs then possible solutions are: The tension on the applicator might be too low or the applicator is improperly webbed. Additionally, the die strikes from the label plant may be bad; have your sales rep check this and ask if the label plant is using measuring gauges on press to monitor this issue. Adhesive coat weights or adhesive voids could be another cause. Again an experienced label representative should be able to spot this.

Problem – Clear Label won’t apply during application.

Many applicators use a dark/light sensor to sense the gap between the labels. The first solution is to have your label printer print a black timing (or eye) mark on the backside if the liner. You can also switch to an ultrasonic sensor which sends out sound waves to measure the label gap.

Problem – Die Strikes

  • Die strikes are usually the most common problem with auto application and are the responsibility of your label plant.
  • The tooling used to die cut labels is very precise, however the tooling will wear out over time
  • Tooling can be repaired and re-sharpened and replaced
  • Use die gauges on press to determine if they are wearing out
  • Ask the label vendor about tooling to ensure a quality label and application

Apogee Industries Inc. is an exclusive source and supplier for pressure sensitive labels and a distributor for labeling equipment and label printers. The company also sells product handling equipment that is often needed for most applications. Typical machine types:

  • Semi-Automatic Machines – The product handler is a person
  • Fully automatic machines – The product handling is either a combination of person and machine or exclusively a machine.

Most common product handling machinery is conveyor systems that carry the product along to the label applicator then often orient the package to the correct position just before the applicator.

The company has extensive experience with automatic labeling equipment and is a primary distributor for CTM Labelers and. Apogee provides:

  • Equipment Sales & Service
  • Installation & repairs
  • Parts & consulting
  • Rental machines
  • Equipment troubleshooting
  • Parts & consulting

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Apogee Industries serves multiple industries and applications:

  • Beverage
  • Dairy
  • Food
  • Chemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Health & Beauty (Cosmetic)
  • Contract Packagers
  • Machine Integrators