Changes to information on sweeteners

Important notice: The information on this web page is under review.

We've made improvements to sweetener information on food labels based on feedback from consumers and stakeholders. The changes concern foods that contain the following high-intensity sweeteners approved by Health Canada for use in Canada:

These sweeteners don't have to be listed on the front of the package anymore. The amount of the sweetener in mg per serving will no longer appear in the list of ingredients. None of the other approved sweeteners need this extra labelling.

All sweeteners used in food will still appear in the list of ingredients on the product label. In addition, foods sweetened with aspartame must still include a statement warning individuals with phenylketonuria that the food contains phenylalanine. This statement must now appear in bold at the end of the list of ingredients.

Figure 1. Changes to how high-intensity sweeteners are labelled
Figure 1: sweeteners - original
Figure 1: sweeteners - new
Figure 1 - Text Description

This figure shows two bottles of flavoured, sparkling water. The one on the left shows the current requirements for labelling of high-intensity sweeteners and is under the heading, "ORIGINAL". The one on the right shows the new requirements for labelling of high-intensity sweeteners and is under the heading, "NEW".

The bottle on the left shows the current label requirements on the front panel. This bottle is displayed under a blue text box with "ORIGINAL" displayed in bold, white uppercase letters. All the text in this figure is in black. Centered on the top half of the pale blue label of the bottle is the word "Sparkling". On the second line are the words "WATER" and "EAU" in uppercase letters, separated by a bullet. On the third line is the word "Pétillante". The words "Sparkling" and "Pétillante" are italicized.

In the middle of the label is a picture of the halves of four fruits, which are oranges, grapefruit, lime and lemon. Below this picture are the words "TROPICAL CITRUS". On the second line are the words "AGRUMES TROPICAUX". These words are in uppercase letters. Centered below are the words: "With, forward slash, Avec Aspartame". Centered at the bottom of the label is the net quantity, "500 mL" in bold type.

Next to the bottle, on the right-hand side, are the ingredient lists in English and French separated by a blank space. The ingredient lists are shown in a box bordered by a thin black line. A comma separates each ingredient in the list.

Shown first is the ingredient list in English. There are five lines of text that run horizontally within the box. The first line starts with the word Ingredients, in bold, followed by a colon. This is followed on the same line by Carbonated water, citric acid. On the second line is potassium citrate, potassium benzoate. On the third line are the words aspartame, open parenthesis, 90 followed by mg in lowercase, per 500 mL, m in lower case and L in upper case, contains. The fourth line continues with phenylalanine, close parenthesis, natural flavour, ester gum. On the fifth line is calcium disodium EDTA. The words aspartame, open parenthesis, 90 mg, contains phenylalanine, close parenthesis, are underlined in red.

Below is the ingredient list in French. There are six lines of text that run horizontally within the box. The first line begins with the word "Ingrédients" in bold, followed by a colon. The first line continues with Eau gazéifiée, acide citrique. On the second line is citrate de potassium, benzoate de. The third line starts with potassium and continues with aspartame, open parenthesis, 90 mg par 500 mL. On the fourth line is contient de la phénylalanine, close parenthesis. On the fifth line is arôme naturel, Gomme d'ester, EDTA de. The sixth line continues with calcium disodique.

To the left of the ingredient lists are two text boxes outlined in red. The top text box points to the aspartame declaration in the list of ingredients and says: "Aspartame content in mg per serving is required" and "A statement that aspartame contains phenylalanine is required". The bottom text box points to the words, "With, forward slash, Avec Aspartame" on the front panel of the label and says: "Aspartame labelling on the front of the package".

Shown to the right of the bottle with the current label, is a bottle with the new labelling. This bottle is displayed under a green text box with "NEW" displayed in bold, white uppercase letters. This label is identical to the current label, with one exception. The new label does not have the words "With, forward slash, Avec Aspartame" on the front of the package.

Next to the bottle, on the right-hand side, are the ingredient lists in English and French separated by a blank space. The ingredient lists are shown in a box bordered by a thin black line. The first letter of each ingredient is capitalized. A bullet separates the ingredients in the list.

Shown first is the ingredient list in English. There are four lines of text that run horizontally within the box. The first line starts with the word Ingredients, in bold, followed by a colon. The first line continues with Carbonated water, Citric acid. On the second line is Potassium citrate, Potassium benzoate. On the third line is Aspartame, Natural flavour, Ester gum. The word Aspartame is underlined in red. On the fourth line is Calcium disodium EDTA.

Following the ingredients on the next line, underlined in red, is the statement in black, bold font: "Aspartame contains phenylalanine".

Below is the ingredient list in French. There are five lines of text that run horizontally within the box. The first line starts with Ingrédients in bold, followed by a colon. The first line continues with Eau gazéifiée, Acide citrique. On the second line is Citrate de potassium, Benzoate de. The third line starts with potassium and continues with Aspartame, Arôme naturel. On the fourth line is Gomme d'ester, EDTA de calcium. The fifth line is the last word disodique.

Following the list of ingredients, on the next line is the statement in black, bold type: "Aspartame contient de la phénylalanine".

To the left of the ingredient lists are two text boxes outlined in red. The top text box points to the aspartame declaration in the list of ingredients and says: "Aspartame content in mg per serving is not required" and "A statement that aspartame contains phenylalanine is required in bold at the end of list of ingredients". The bottom text box points to the blank area on the label above the net quantity and says, "No labelling required on the front of the package".

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