Labelling according to the Food Information Regulation

The rules concerning the labelling of food are about to change. Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011 concerning the provision of food information to consumers (Food Information Regulation, FIR) was proclaimed and published in the Official Journal on 22 November 2011.

The Regulation came into force on 12 December 2011 and has been valid since 13 December 2014. The obligation to declare the nutritional value will not be valid until 13 December 2016. If, prior to this date, the nutritional value is declared voluntarily, must comply with the Regulation.

Regulatory consulting regarding labelling and marketability

ifp Institut für Produktqualität with its professional team of food chemists provides consultation to food manufacturers about future labelling requirements and will gladly help with any questions on this matter. Along with its consulting services, the company also draws on a wealth of experience in the preparation of marketability assessments.

Aims and novelties of the Food Information Regulation

The aims of the FIR are comprehensive. The vertical regulations on labelling that have been in effect so far, such as labelling directive 2000/13/EC and the directive on nutrition labelling 90/496/ECC, have been combined and partially suspended.

The newly-restructured Food Information Law is intended to enable end consumers throughout Europe to inform themselves comprehensively on foodstuffs. Amongst other things, this restructuring comprises an informative, easily comprehensible declaration of the nutrients contained in a food, as well as emphasising ingredients which might trigger allergies or intolerances. Over and above this, the new labelling regulations are intended to prevent end consumers from being misled. Examples of this are the unambiguous labelling of so-called surrogates (‘cheese substitutes’) or the reconstitution of meat products (reconstituted meat).

Some of the key novelties are (excerpt):

  • obligatory declaration of nutritional value
  • highlighted declaration of allergens
  • a minimum font size
  • declaration of imitation food
  • declaration of origin (for certain products)