Getting Your Claims Right

3. Making a nutrition content claim

Page last updated: 21 October 2014

3.1 Building a nutrition content claim

The purpose of this diagram is to direct the user to the relevant sections of this guidance document.

Alternative text for diagram 2 (Text 1 KB)

Schedule 1 may be amended by application to FSANZ.

A nutrition content claim is a claim about the presence or absence of certain properties of food. These properties are listed in the definition of nutrition content claim provided in the glossary.

The requirements outlined in Section 2 of this document also apply when making a nutrition content claim.

Different requirements apply to claims depending on whether or not the nutrition content claim refers to a substance listed in Column 1 of Schedule 1 of Standard 1.2.7.

3.2 Nutrition content claims about properties of food listed in Schedule 1 (Clause 11)

Schedule 1 of Standard 1.2.7 provides conditions for making nutrition content claims about the properties of food listed in Column 1 of Schedule 1.

If a claim is made about a property of food listed in Column 1, the food and/or claim must comply with any general conditions in Column 2.

If the claim has the same effect as a qualifier (descriptor) listed in Column 3, the food and/or claim must also comply with any additional conditions in Column 4. If there is an inconsistency between the conditions in Columns 2 and 4, the specific conditions in Column 4 override those in Column 2 (subclause 11(4)).

A claim about a property listed in Column 1 can be made without qualifiers (descriptors) (for example, a “contains” or “source of” claim), in which case only the general conditions in Column 2 apply, together with other prohibitions in the Standard.

A claim about a property of food listed in Column 1 may also be made with a qualifier (descriptor) that is not mentioned in Column 3, including quantification claims specifying the amount of the property in the food (subclause 11(8)). In this case, the general conditions in Column 2 apply together with other prohibitions in the Standard.

Building a nutrition content claim based on Schedule 1:

  • Protein: is listed in Schedule 1.
  • Column 1 (Property of food): Protein.
  • Column 2 (General claim conditions that must be met): The food contains at least 5g of protein per serving unless the claim is about low or reduced protein.
  • Column 3 (Specific descriptor or synonym): ‘Good source’, ‘Increased’.
  • Column 4 (Conditions that must be met if using specific descriptor in Column 3): ‘Good source’ – the food contains at least 10g of protein per serving. ‘Increased’ – the food contains at least 25% more protein than in the same quantity of reference food; and the reference food meets the general conditions for a nutrition content claim about protein.

Nutrition content claims about vitamins and minerals

There are also conditions for making nutrition content claims about vitamins and minerals in other standards in the Food Standards Code. Standard 1.3.2 – Vitamins and Minerals prescribes the maximum claims that can be made about foods that contain added vitamins or minerals. Specific conditions for making nutrition content claims about special purpose foods are in Part 2.9 – Special Purpose Foods. If a claim is expressly permitted by another Standard, Standard 1.2.7 does not apply (clause 5(a)).

Claims that directly or indirectly compare the vitamin or mineral content of a food with that of another food must not be made unless such a claim is permitted by the Food Standards Code (clause 8).

3.3 Nutrition content claims about properties of food not listed in Schedule 1 (Clause 12)

Food businesses are not limited to the properties of food listed in Schedule 1 for making nutrition content claims. If a business makes a nutrition content claim about a property of food not listed in Schedule 1, the claim may:

  • only state that the food does or does not contain the property of food; or
  • state that a specified amount of the food contains a specified amount of the property of food; or
  • a combination of the above.

For example, a nutrition content claim that is a comparative claim (such as ‘reduced’) cannot be made about a property of food unless the property is listed in Schedule 1.

3.4 Conditions for certain nutrition content claims

Lactose or trans/fatty acids (Subclause 11(5))

If you are making nutrition content claims about lactose or trans fatty acids, only the descriptors in Column 3 relating to lactose or trans fatty acids, or synonyms of those descriptors from Schedule 1, may be used.

Glycaemic index and glycaemic load (Subclause 11(6))

If nutrition content claims are made about glycaemic index (GI) or glycaemic load, the food must meet the nutrient profiling scoring criterion (NPSC). For claims about GI, the numerical value of the GI of the food must be included either in the claim or in the NIP, however the GI descriptor (low, medium, high) is not required to be included as part of the GI claim. For claims about glycaemic load, no descriptors other than a number or a descriptor expressed in numeric form may be used.

Gluten (Subclause 11(7))

If nutrition content claims are made about gluten, only the descriptors in Column 3 of Schedule 1 relating to gluten may be used (or a synonym of that descriptor). Alternatively, the claim may state that a food contains gluten or is high in gluten.

Folic acid, choline or fluoride (Clause 13)

No nutrition content claim about folic acid, choline or fluoride may be made unless a health claim is also made in relation to the property. When a health claim is made, no descriptors (e.g. high, low, rich) can be used when making the nutrition content claim.

Must not imply slimming effects (Clause 14)

Claims about energy that meet the conditions to use the descriptor ‘diet’ must not use another descriptor that directly or indirectly imply a ‘slimming’ effect (or a synonym for ‘slimming’). Claims using the descriptor ‘diet’ must also meet the specific conditions for this descriptor as set out in Column 4 of Schedule 1.

In addition, and among other conditions covered in later sections of this document, claims using the descriptor ‘diet’ can only be used on foods meeting the NPSC.

Comparative claims (Clause 15)

A comparative claim is a nutrition content claim that directly or indirectly compares the nutrition content of one food or brand of food with another, and includes claims that use the following descriptors: ‘light’, ‘lite’, ‘reduced’, ‘increased’ (subclause 15(1)). In addition, a ‘diet’ nutrition content claim is deemed to be a comparative claim if it meets the conditions for making the diet claim by having at least 40% less energy than the same quantity of reference food (subclause 15(2)).

Additional wording is required to be included with comparative claims. The identity of the reference food (see glossary) and the difference between the amount of the property of food in the claimed food and the reference food must be included together with the comparative claim (subclause 15(3)).

Conditions for making comparative claims about certain properties are included in Column 4 of Schedule 1.

Note that descriptors listed in Column 3 of Schedule 1, such as ‘increased’ and ‘reduced’, cannot be used in a nutrition content claim about a property of food that is not mentioned in Schedule 1 (clause 12). Claims that directly or indirectly compare the vitamin or mineral content of a food with that of another food must not be made unless such a claim is permitted by the Food Standards Code (Clause 8).

A template is provided to help food businesses build a nutrition content claim; and demonstrate due diligence in attempting to comply with the Food Standards Code.

This template should be used with the associated ‘Checklist for Nutrition Content Claims’.

A separate template and associated check list should be used for each claim.