Food Suppliers Views on Ingredient Lists

Food Suppliers Views on Ingredient Lists

Organic content

Can organic products be labeled "organic"?

Organic products must not include the USDA organic seal or the word “organic” in their labeling, and specific organic ingredients may be listed in the ingredient statement of products containing less than 70 percent organic contents according to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Products with lower than 70 percent organic contents must be labeled as "made with organic ingredients" rather than "organic" on their packaging.

Why are color additives used in food?

Color additives are used in foods to maintain or enhance the appearance and appeal of the product, as stated by the FDA. The FDA lists various reasons such as offsetting color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture, and storage conditions, as well as correcting natural variations. Colors may also be used to indicate flavor or to assist in identifying a product.

What is organic food?

Organic food is certified by the USDA and must meet a set of regulations in order to be labeled as such. As reported by the USDA, organic food is produced without the use of synthetic chemicals, growth hormones, antibiotics, or genetic modification. Organic food must be grown and processed using sustainable farming practices.

Source of ingredients

What is the purpose of color additives in food?

Color additives are used in foods to maintain the desired color despite exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions, as well as to correct natural variations, according to the FDA. On, it is mentioned that color additives are used for many reasons and can help to make food more appealing. It is important to understand which food additives are safe for consumption and which are not before using them in foods.

What information does the FDA provide related to food allergens?

FDA provides educational information, databases, and listings related to food allergens, ingredients, food additives, color additives and GRAS substances on their website. Citation: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 2021. FDA also reviews and evaluates petitions for food additives before they can be used safely in food products.

Do packaged foods require labels with percentage of key ingredients?

Most packaged foods must have labels with the percentage of key or characterising ingredients, allowing consumers to compare similar products. As reported by Food Standards, this is required in order to provide a better understanding of what is in the food. For example, strawberry yoghurt would have to show the percentage of strawberries used in the product.

Quality of ingredients

What are food additives used for?

WebColor additives are used in foods to maintain their original color, correct natural variations and improve shelf life. From the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration) "Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives & Colors" on, these additives can help offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions. Food additives may also be used to enhance flavor, texture and preserve freshness.

What percentage must be displayed on packaged food labels?

Packaged foods must display the percentage of the key or characterising ingredients or components on the labels, as mandated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). This helps consumers compare similar products and make informed decisions. For example, a label for strawberry yoghurt must indicate that it contains 9% strawberries.

What should companies verify before investing in an ingredient supplier?

When choosing an ingredient supplier, it is important to ensure they provide a specification sheet which includes chemical analyses such as moisture, fat, solids, ash, brix or refractive index, salt, water activity and/or pH. Antibiotic or antifungal residue analyses should be checked for such as chloramphenicol, malachite green, fluoroquinolones and gentian violet. As stated by Food Safety (web), companies should verify these details before investing in any ingredient supplier.

Allergen information

What are the essential steps for allergen management for food businesses?

This Code of Practice on Food Allergen Management for Food Business outlines the need for businesses to take necessary precautions to prevent undeclared allergen in supplier ingredients as well as inadequate or lack of employee training/education on managing food allergens. Retail and food service establishments must ensure accurate information from supply chain and availability of allergen information with ingredients or foods received. According FAO and WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission (2020), it is essential for businesses to have an allergen management plan in order to protect consumers from allergic reactions.

What information does the FDA provide related to food ingredients?

FDA provides educational information, databases and listings related to food allergens, ingredients, food additives, color additives and GRAS substances, as cited on in 2021. It also maintains petitions for food additives.

When does the FASTER Act require sesame to be added to food allergen labeling?

The FDA has issued guidances on Food Allergen Labeling Requirements, which includes the addition of sesame to the list of major food allergens. Mentioned in the FASTER Act, this is effective as of January 1, 2023. This brings the total number of major food allergens in the U.S. to nine, including milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. The draft guidance outlines new labeling requirements to protect consumers with food allergies.


What percentage of Danone's carbon emissions and water use is sourced from agriculture?

Danone is committed to sustainable sourcing, with 2/3 of its carbon emissions and 89% of its water use coming from the sourcing of agricultural products. This also includes an indirect workforce of around 100,000 people, as stated by Danone on in 2021. Sustainability is an important factor in ensuring the well-being of both people and nature.

What sustainable practices does Coca-Cola use for its ingredients?

The Coca-Cola Company has developed sustainable business practices and identified Tier 1 suppliers, representing the top 80% of global spend for their 4 top priority ingredients by volume. As stated by the company's website, "The Coca-Cola Company" (, 2020), sustainable agriculture is actively pursued and ingredient suppliers are held to the highest standards. The company has adopted a Controlled Water Stewardship Program, which promotes the responsible use of water resources in their operations.

What is the environmental impact of multi-ingredient processed foods in the UK and Ireland?

The environmental impact of 57,000 multi-ingredient processed foods in the UK and Ireland has been revealed in a new study published by an Oxford-led research team, showing that these products have a significant environmental burden. Published on Nature Sustainability, the study provides evidence on the need for more sustainable food production in the region. It suggests that reducing meat consumption and replacing it with plant-based alternatives could have a significant reduction on environmental impacts.

Nutritional content

Do packaged foods require percentage labelling?

Packaged foods must include labels that show the percentage of key ingredients or components, so consumers can compare products. As mentioned in Food Standards Australia New Zealand, percentage labelling is required on most packaged foods, such as specifying the percentage of strawberries in strawberry yoghurt. When buying processed food, it is important to check the ingredient list for other potential allergens and to ensure the product meets dietary requirements.

Which is more nutritious: water chestnuts or cantaloupe?

Water chestnuts and cantaloupes are two of the 100 most nutritious foods according to BBC Future (Jan 26, 2018). Water chestnuts contain 97 kcal per 100g while cantaloupe contains 91 kcal per 100g. Water chestnuts also have a higher nutritional score of 50 compared to cantaloupe's score of 49.

What can Prospector help me find?

Prospector provides a comprehensive search interface for over 30,500 food and beverage ingredients from top suppliers, allowing users to access technical data, safety information, nutritional information and starter formulations. It also includes pricing and sample requests, and a directory of equipment suppliers. The data is sourced from Prospector (2020), an online resource for ingredient discovery. Through this platform, manufacturers have access to up-to-date industry insights and trends.

Country of origin

Has the country of origin labelling system for food improved consumer access to information?

The country of origin labelling system for food has improved consumer access to information, clarified origin claims businesses can make, and avoided imposing excessive costs on impacted businesses, according to the Department of Industry, Science and Innovation in Australia (, in 2021. This system came into full effect in July 2018.

Is it required to list the countries of origin of imported processed foods in Japan?

It is not mandatory to list the countries of origin of ingredients for imported processed foods in Japan, according to the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. On, the ministry states that for imported processed foods, "country of manufacture" is listed as "made domestically", "made in Belgium" etc. For all processed foods, countries of origin of ingredients will be listed.

What is the regulatory status of a food ingredient?

The FDA provides information on food ingredients and packaging, including determining the regulatory status of a food ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website ( offers resources on this topic, such as videos on YouTube, RSS feeds, and contact information. The FDA offers guidance documents to help ensure food safety and quality.


What is food traceability?

Food traceability is essential in ensuring safety and compliance in the food supply chain. According to the FDA's Final Food Traceability Rule released last month, food producers and processors must have the ability to trace a food (and/or its ingredients) at any point in the supply chain. This can help identify sources of contamination quickly and efficiently, minimizing the risk of foodborne illnesses. This rule helps to ensure that food companies are compliant with regulatory standards.

Traceability is an essential capability in the food industry, allowing food to be tracked through all stages of production, processing, distribution and sale. Mentioned in Food Standards Australia New Zealand, this includes the ability to trace one step backwards and one step forward at any point in the supply chain. Traceability systems have proven to be a key tool for businesses to manage food safety risks and ensure compliance with regulations.

This template provides an effective process for food traceability, including an accurate description of the product, its quantity or volume, the name and address of the food business operator (FBO) who supplied it, and the owner's name and address if different. The template is provided by and is essential for products of animal origin. Food traceability is important for maintaining consumer confidence and safety in the food industry.

Clean label

What is a clean label food?

The demand for ‘clean label’ food products is a growing trend, where people are paying more attention to ingredient lists and choosing clean ingredients over ‘chemical-sounding’ alternatives. Mentioned in SGS Food, there is no single definition of what ‘clean’ is yet. Research has suggested that consumer preferences for natural and organic products have increased significantly since the 1990s.

Clean label ingredients refer to products made from ingredients that are recognized and accepted by consumers, free of artificial or misleading ingredients, with no genetically modified ingredients (non-GM), and an ingredient listing consistent with consumer understanding. Sourced from Ingredion Incorporated, clean label products are gaining traction in the market, as consumers are increasingly looking for food and beverage products that meet their health and wellness needs. Recent research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) indicates that clean labelling is becoming an important factor in consumer decision-making.

Which clean-label priorities are important to baby boomers?

Clean label is increasingly important to baby boomers, driven by age-related health issues, while millenials also prioritize it. Sourced from a 2017 study by the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS), the top five clean-label priorities for baby boomers are the amount of sugar, sodium level, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup. A clean label is also an important factor for millenials when considering food products.

Environmental impact

What food additives does FDA provide information on?

FDA provides databases and listings related to food allergens, ingredients, food additives, color additives and GRAS substances, as stated on their website (, 2021). Food Additives & Petitions is one of the services they offer.

What are color additives used for?

Color additives are used in foods to improve the appearance and offset color loss due to environmental factors, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website on 2020. Color additives may also be used to correct natural variations in color.

What foods have the lowest environmental impact?

Multi-ingredient processed foods, such as soups, salads, bread, and breakfast cereals, have a low environmental impact compared to those made of meat, fish, and cheese, according to a study by the University of Oxford. Jerky, biltong, and other dried beef products have the highest environmental impact scores. This research quantifies the differences in environmental impact between multi-ingredient products for the first time.


  • Usda : Labeling Organic Products, Agricultural Marketing Service.
  • Fda : Overview, Food Ingredients, Additives, Colors, FDA.
  • Foodstandards : Ingredient lists, percentage labelling, Food Standards.
  • Danone : Sustainable sourcing, Danone.
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