New labeling regulations also make the following discussion of the proposed changes more relevant in Canada. Nutrient content claims have been permitted in Canada for food for special dietary use since 1974 and for all food meeting the compositional criteria for specified claims since 1988. For the first time, amendments to the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations (Canada, 2003) permit five health claims on food, including a claim for dental caries on the labels of certain chewing gums, candies, and breath-fresheners that contain a specified amount of fermentable carbohydrate.

Nutrient Content Claims

For a food to qualify to serve as a “good” source of a nutrient, it must contain 10 to 19 percent of the DV per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC). An “excellent” or “high” food source must contain at least 20 percent of the DV per RACC (21 C.F.R. 101.54(b), (c), (e). As shown in Table 5-4, the amount of nutrient per RACC for a food to qualify for a good or excellent/ high claim would be lower in most cases if the DVs were based on the population-weighted EAR or AI than if they were based on the current DVs. The example population-weighted EAR is similar to the current DV for vitamin C and lower for most other nutrients—by 22 (folate) to 66 percent (vitamin B12, copper, and iron). Because the units of measure for the DV and population-weighted EAR differ for vitamins A and E, it is not readily apparent how the qualifying amounts for these label claims might potentially differ. Population-weighted AIs for calcium, vitamin K, and fiber may be slightly higher by approximately 10 to 20 percent than the current DVs; the population-weighted AI would most likely be lower than the current DV for vitamin D (~30 percent), pantothenic acid (~52 percent), and biotin (~91 percent).

Currently protein content expressed as a % DV and the criteria for protein content claims are based on the amount of protein in a food after protein digestibility-corrected amino acid scores (PCDAAs) are applied. The committee recommends that the reference value for protein be based on the difference between the sum of the reference values for carbohydrate (based on the midpoint of the AMDR for carbohydrate) and fat (based on the midpoint of the population-weighted midpoint of the AMDR for fat for children and adults).

If a protein DV based on an AMDR of greater than 10 percent of energy was adopted, consideration would need to be given to the criteria for expressing protein content as a % DV, as well as to the

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