Labels on food products need to tell the customer and the consumer exactly what’s in that particular product. And when we say EVERYTHING, we mean every single last ingredient – right down to the smallest ingredient, like we do on our e’Pap packaging. (To find out more about the science that backs e’Pap, check out this video.
There are three things that a food label should contain. These are:
- The name and description of the food product,
- A list of all ingredients that are in the product,
- A table which shows the basic nutritional value of the product.
In this article, we’ll have a more in-depth look at what each of these means, and look at more information that you would usually find on food products.
How to read a food label: Point 1
The name of the food must appear on the front of the packaging. If the name is not a true description of the food, a true description of the product must also be given. For example, on the front of our e’Pap packaging our description of what is inside the package is “Instant Pre-Cooked Porridge Powder”. This is because that’s exactly what’s in the packet!
The picture must show the food product like it truly is, and not confuse customers. For this reason, we have a bowl of e’Pap on the front of each packet which shows the porridge in its ready-to-eat format. If, for example, bananas or strawberries were also in the picture, the term ‘serving suggestion’ would have to be added to the picture, because the e’Pap packet does not have bananas or strawberries inside.
How to read a food label: Point 2
Somewhere on the packaging of each food product (usually at the back) there must be a list of all ingredients. This includes all additives that are contained in the product. The ingredients must be listed in order of weight with the heaviest listed first and the lightest ingredient last. Ingredients that make up less than 2% of a product can be listed in any order.
A Typical Nutritional Information Table must be on the packaging. This information will give an idea of the nutritional value of a food product. It must contain the minimum required information expressed per 100 g/mL of product and per the serving size. The minimum information includes:
- Energy (kJ)
- Protein (g)
- Glycaemic Carbohydrate (g)
- Of which total sugar (g)
- Total fat (g)
- Of which saturated fat (g)
- Dietary fibre (g)
- Total sodium (mg)
Storage instructions of the product before and after the product has been opened has to appear on the packet. On the back of our e’Pap packaging, on the left, we have simple step-by-step instructions of how you can prepare e’Pap for your family. On the right hand-side, we list all 24 vitamins and minerals that you will get in every serving of e’Pap. This is to show what a nutritional punch e’Pap offer – see more below!
To order your e’Pap, follow this link to contact us. It’s also available at Dis-Chem stores.
The Typical Nutritional information Table only gives us the amounts of what ingredients are present in the product. It does NOT tell us how well our bodies will absorb and use the nutrients given in the table. Depending on the form of ingredients, your body might only use about 20% of the nutrient. This is especially true when it comes to micronutrients. That is why on our packaging, we have indicated with a *, that 9 of the minerals are in the special form that your body can easily see, absorb and use. So in e’Pap, your body will use up to 90% of the minerals added. This means that with e’Pap, your body can use more of what is offered in the product, when compared to most other products that also has minerals added.
When you look at the minerals on products and supplements again, ask yourself – how much of this will my body actually use? How much am I paying for what my body can actually benefit from?