Many people are not aware of the importance of nutrition labels. This is understandable, as nutrition labels have only been required in the U.S. since 1994 when the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act was passed. In other countries, nutrition labels became available even later.
The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act in the U.S. and other similar laws in other countries was designed to help consumers make more informed choices about what they eat. Through the use of nutrition information on food packages along with other important information such as ingredients, nutrition facts, and nutrition data, consumers can get more information on the food they are eating and how healthy it is.
However, with good nutritional labels come bad ones. Nutrition labeling errors happen all too often in manufacturing facilities throughout the world. These mistakes lead to financial loss for manufacturers due to recalled products and legal issues such as lawsuits from consumer groups or individuals who were affected by nutrition label inaccuracies.
In addition to financial issues, nutrition labels also have the potential to affect a company’s reputation. Most consumers are not aware of nutrition labeling errors until it is too late, resulting in negative press for food manufacturers which can lead people to believe that they are selling products with harmful ingredients or incorrect nutrition facts when this isn’t true at all.
Dealing with Human Errors in Food Processing
Food processing involves complicated steps and product formulas, and it is not always possible to avoid errors in the production process.
When formulating food product recipes, there is always a possibility for human error to occur. A company’s recipe might call for an ingredient with sub-standard nutrition facts or no nutrition facts at all because it was accidentally added in place of another similar item within the factory.
This could be due to incorrect mixing by production line workers, lack of quality control measures taken during formula development and testing, or simply not having good enough internal communication between these parties involved in creating the final list of ingredients used in each batch produced.
A mistake in the recipe, mistakes in the mixing or inspection of ingredients, and any number of blunders during the manufacturing process are all possible. Manufacturers must act quickly to correct any problems that may arise, even if a mistake is made. Using a nutrition label calculator adjustments can be made to help minimize the overall impact.
How Promotional Activities Impact Food Processing
Product promotions can also lead to errors in production. At times the acquisition of ingredients can be rushed and quality controls can lapse while producers take advantage of temporary price drops in certain ingredients. These circumstances can lead to mistakes.
Also, promotional activities such as temporary sales may not be taken into account when creating nutrition facts panels because these specials don’t always last for extended periods of time which could result in food items being sent out without correct nutrition label information attached. It is important to use a nutrition facts creator solution to help address this gap.
Equipment Errors in the Manufacturing Process
Many times, human error is not to blame for any fault, with the problem being in the equipment itself. The manufacturing process is full of potential equipment errors.
- Equipment that has not been properly maintained can lead to errors where contaminants get inadvertently introduced into the product.
- Equipment breakdowns could force manufacturers to use equipment that is not expressly designed for the purpose. This equipment may not have been properly calibrated which can result in incorrect measurements being made with ingredients or even packaging materials.
Incorrect Measurement Errors Affecting Labeling & Packaging of Food Products
Errors due to inaccurate measurements on nutrition labels and food packages that are printed include:
- The wrong serving size listed on a nutrition label leading consumers who follow diet plans to mistakenly believe they’re consuming an incorrect number of calories. This could be particularly dangerous for those following strict diets such as diabetic eating patterns where consumption of certain foods must adhere strictly to specific guidelines.
- Incorrect nutrition facts – ingredients and nutrition values. Incorrect ingredient listings on a nutrition label can not only lead consumers to make incorrect nutritional choices about their food but also to dangerous health risks such as allergic reactions.
Changes to the original recipe
During food processing, there may be any number of formula mistakes that occur if proper research isn’t done on ingredients or product changes aren’t taken into consideration before production begins.
Formulas are often modified based on what ingredients are available and how market conditions are affecting the supply chain.
These changes can cause nutrition facts errors, incorrect ingredient listings, or issues where ingredients listed on the product label are not in the final packaged product.
Some common formula mistakes are:
- Wrong ingredients being used – using a cheaper substitute that doesn’t taste right with other flavors and changing how it interacts with other food items during processing. This can lead to nutrition labeling errors if nutrition labels aren’t updated to reflect these adjustments according to nutritional values of new/old products being combined together or changed by a percentage value for batches produced between recipe changes.
- Undercooking/overcooking foods will change nutrient content leading to inaccurate nutrition facts information even if proper thought was put into developing certain recipes initially.
How Supplier Changes can Impact Food Packaging
Suppliers often change the packaging to reflect new information about nutrition values, use-by dates, or other concerns. This can lead to nutrition label errors if the old labels aren’t properly removed and replaced with updated ones.
Different suppliers can offer different deals on the same product, but where these items are being sourced from can impact the final underlying product. Coffee beans for example are available in many different parts of the world, however, the taste varies based on where they come from as their environments are different.
Packaging and nutrition labels need to be designed to accurately reflect this so that consumers can make an informed choice. Using a nutrition label calculator is one way to ensure the nutrition information on your nutrition labels is accurate.
How MenuSano Helps
A nutrition label needs to be easy for the consumer to read and understand, as well as provide all of the information that they need. One mistake can mean customers are confused about what product it represents or don’t know how much of a particular ingredient is in a package because there are no nutrition labels on the packaging itself.
Correcting nutrition facts mistakes in food manufacturing is more complex than simply reprinting the nutrition label, it requires extensive testing to ensure accuracy of numbers and information about ingredients can be fixed by adding or removing certain items from a product’s formulation.
For example, the nutrition label might indicate that a product contains ‘sugar’ but it actually should have read ‘fructose.’ The mistake could be caught by an inspector during manufacturing and fixed before any production run is shipped out to stores or customers.
With nutrition facts getting more attention these days, it’s important that nutrition labeling is done properly. Improper nutrition labels not only mislead customers into thinking they’re buying one product when another was made entirely – but also can cause safety concerns if allergens aren’t listed on the label and processed food items are consumed by people with allergies.
MenuSano is the easiest and most affordable way to quickly do Nutrition Analysis and generate Nutrition Labels for all of your recipes and food products. Try it for yourself by starting a 14-Day Free Trial of MenuSano today!