calcium, protein, and fiber. In those cases where the population-weighted EAR or AI is less than the current DV, more food products may qualify for a health claim. A higher DV for fiber, based on the AI for a 2,000-calorie reference value, however, may disqualify some food products from bearing a health claim.

Disqualifying Nutrients. Food that contains more than a specified level of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium are disqualified from making a health claim, even though all other criteria might be met. The disqualifying amount is typically 20 percent of the DV. Lowering the DV for saturated fat and cholesterol might make it more difficult for a food to qualify for certain health claims. DVs based on a population-weighted EAR or AI concept or other recommended principles may have mixed implications for claims in nutrition labeling under current regulatory criteria. Regardless, the committee believes that the principles presented in this report provide the most accurate scientific approach to using the DRIs to determine reference values for nutrition labeling.

Effects of Nutrition Labeling on Food Formulation

While discussions about the Nutrition Facts box typically revolve around its impact as a tool to help consumers make more healthful food selections, it must be recognized that the regulations governing the Nutrition Facts box and the associated nutrient content claims also influence the formulation of products. Manufacturers often adjust the quantities of particular ingredients or discretionary fortificants so that their products can be shown in the Nutrition Facts box to have a higher percent DV for some nutrients and a lower percent DV for others, thereby meeting the criteria for particular content claims. Thus any changes to the DV or to the list of nutrients included in the Nutrition Facts box can be expected to have some effect on the nutrient profiles of processed food. Furthermore, implementation of the recommended principles for discretionary fortification is expected to affect the inclusion of nutrients and their amounts suitable for fortification.


In the United States, for the purpose of determining compliance with nutrition labeling regulations, nutrients added to fortified or fabricated food (e.g., vitamins and minerals) are classified as Class I (21 C.F.R. 101.9(g)). A food containing a Class I nutrient is deemed to be misbranded if the amount of the nutrient in a composite

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