Labelling Requirements for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
List of Ingredients - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
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In most cases, single ingredient foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, do not require the declaration of an ingredient list.
For a prepackaged product consisting of more than one ingredient (such as a mixture of fresh-cut fruits or vegetables, bagged lettuce blends, etc.), the ingredients must be shown in descending order of their proportion of the prepackaged product or as a percentage of the prepackaged product, and the order or percentage must be the order or percentage of the ingredients before they are combined to form the prepackaged product [B.01.008(3), FDR].
Example: A bagged lettuce blend lists romaine lettuce first and radicchio second in the list of ingredients to indicate that romaine is the primary ingredient.
Note: Master and shipping containers are included in the above-mentioned requirement as per the FDR definition of "prepackaged product" [B.01.001, FDR].
Omissions or substitutions of ingredients, over the 12 month period from the time the label is applied to the prepackaged product, are permitted in an ingredient list provided that it is clearly stated that the ingredient may not be present or that another ingredient may be substituted [B.01.011(1), FDR].
It is also possible for a manufacturer to vary the proportions of ingredients in a prepackaged product, over the 12 month period from the time the label is applied to the prepackaged product provided that it is clearly stated that the proportions indicated are subject to change and the ingredients are listed in descending order of the proportion in which they will probably be used during the 12 month period [B.01.011 (2), FDR].
The list of ingredients may be shown on any part of the label, except that part of the label, if any, that is applied to the bottom of the packaging or container [10(7), FFVR; B.01.005, FDR]. The letters must be a minimum of 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [12(3), FFVR; 15, CPLR].
For more information, refer to List of Ingredients.
Food additives are considered to be ingredients in a final prepackaged product. Added ingredients must be included in the list of ingredients, except wax coating compounds and their components, which are not required to be shown on the label of a prepackaged fresh fruit or fresh vegetable as an ingredient or component thereof [B.01.008(7), FDR].
For more information, refer to Food Additives.
Any allergens present in a food must be declared in an ingredient list or "Contains" statement, and that the source of a food allergen or gluten must be declared in consistent and easy to understand terminology.
For example, wax coatings containing casein on fresh produce which were previously exempt from declaration are now required to be declared as "Contains milk".
In the case of sulphites, the new regulations require that sulphites added as components of an ingredient exempted from component declaration must be declared when the total amount of sulphites contained within the food is 10 parts per million or more in the finished product. With the exception of grapes, it is not permitted to add sulphites to any fresh fruit or vegetable that is intended to be consumed raw [B.11.001.1, FDR].
For more information, refer to Food Allergens, Gluten & Added Sulphites.
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