On December 14, 2016, amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations came into force. Regulated parties have a five (5) year transition period to meet the new labelling requirements.
Pursuant to section B.01.401 of the Food and Drugs Regulations (FDR), the label of a prepackaged product, that is not exempted in the regulations, shall carry a nutrition facts table that contains the energy value in "calories" and the amount of "fibre" or "dietary fibre". The nutrition facts table may also contains the amount of soluble fibre and insoluble fibre [B.01.402, FDR] and other statements of claim related to fibre as permitted in the FDR.
The new dietary fibre policy provides guidance on the labelling of fibre containing products with respect to:
total dietary fibre declaration
declaration of soluble and insoluble fibre as additional information
fibre-related nutrient content claims and health claims
caloric declaration for all unavailable carbohydrates, including dietary fibre, in the absence of specific values.
The document also establishes the new general caloric value of 2 kcal (8 kJ/g) for dietary fibre. This new value is to be used for all unavailable carbohydrate, including dietary fibre, in the absence of specific values, when nutrient values are declared, as required by the FDR.
When assessing compliance, CFIA has adopted the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) 2009.01 method as of April 1st, 2012. Health Canada's document also provides a list of acceptable and validated methods that may be used to quantify fibre.
It is the responsibility of all regulated parties to ensure that their products comply with all relevant Canadian legislation. During the first year of application of Health Canada's new dietary fibre policy, the CFIA will take an educational approach when assessing compliance of Nutrition Facts tables and claims on the labels and advertisements with respect to the FDR. Following this one-year transition period, the CFIA will resume regular compliance and enforcement activities with respect to fibre, energy value and related claims on labels and advertisements pursuant to the requirements in the FDR and taking into consideration Health Canada's new dietary fibre policy.