It’s a quiet Sunday evening, and after a day out with friends, you have nothing made. You put on your Gordan Ramsey hat and venture into the cupboards, pantry, fridge and wherever else you can find ingredients. There are a few things to consider here; firstly, you don’t know how long that cheese has been in the fridge because the last time you cooked was 2 months ago and secondly the doctor advised you to stay off gluten. You scratch your head and the conundrum you face but luckily for you, there are food labels. A quick examination of said labels allows you to identify that the cheese went out of date 3 weeks ago, and in a rush, you accidently picked up bread that wasn’t gluten free. Crisis averted – hooray for food labels.
You can improve your eating habits by reading the nutrition facts label and utilizing the information it contains. Generally, label users tend to consume fewer calories; less cholesterol, total fat, saturated fat, and sodium; and more fibre than those who don’t use these labels.
As international trade grows, it becomes harder for us to find out who our food producers are and where the food comes from. This can be addressed by trustworthy labels. With the assistance of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, FAO and the World Health Organization are setting global standards for food labelling. When labelling food, countries must adhere to these standards, especially those that will be sold on the global market. So, what are the main advantages of using food labels and what information can you find on them?
You can read labels to understand the composition of your food: vitamins, minerals, calories, fats, etc. You need to know this information to make sure you are eating the types of foods that are healthy for you. You can monitor your micronutrient intake with labels to avoid deficiencies, especially common ones such as iron and vitamin D. You can monitor your weight by counting calories and saturated fats; you can limit your consumption of sugar and salt and ensure that you consume a balanced diet. All these actions can help prevent illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease
Consumers place a lot of importance on where a product comes from on its label. It is common for people to buy local products in order to support local farmers and reduce their carbon footprint. A person may also opt for one product over another for ethical or political reasons. Choosing fair trade, organic, or free-range items, for example, might be of importance to someone. In order for consumers to know where their food comes from, it is prudent for you to correctly label the origin of your produce. Furthermore, there is a high level of interest in how food is prepared. You can help users make informed decisions about which products they would like to consume by including information about the production methods of your products, whether it’s for religious, cultural, or ethical reasons.
If you are new business operating in anything consumable such as food, drink or supplementary products, the above considerations aren’t optional but mandated. If you require production of labels or labelling machinery check out ALS.