Notice: Change to the requirement for the grouping of sugars-based ingredients in the list of ingredients
Health Canada will exempt foods containing sugars-based ingredients from the requirement to group them as "Sugars" in the list of ingredients (LOI) when the final product contains less than 0.5 grams of sugars per serving. This exemption will be pursued through a regulatory amendment in the Food and Drug Regulations. Until the regulations are amended to include this exemption, this change will be reflected in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Industry Labelling Tool.
In December 2016, Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Nutrition Labelling, Other Labelling Provisions and Food Colours) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Unless an exemption provides otherwise, these regulations establish a new requirement to group all sugars-based ingredients in parentheses after the term "Sugars" in the LOI, regardless of their function and of the amount of sugars they contribute to the food. Guidance on the application of this policy is available in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Industry Labelling Tool. The intent is to help consumers understand the relative proportion of sugars-based ingredients in the food compared to other ingredients, as well as to identify unfamiliar sources of sugars in their foods.
Since the publication of the 2016 regulatory amendments, Health Canada has identified a potentially confusing situation for consumers, whereby sugars-based ingredients are grouped together and identified as "Sugars" in the LOI, while the Sugars declaration in the Nutrition Facts table is 0 grams. This occurs when the product contains less than 0.5 grams of sugars (the prescribed cut-off point for rounding sugars to 0 grams in the Nutrition Facts table) per serving. The sugars declaration in the Nutrition Facts table and the sugars grouping in the LOI should reinforce each other in providing consumers with information about the sugars content of their food.
Please direct all enquiries regarding the change to the requirement for the grouping of sugars-based ingredients in the LOI to Health Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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