Understanding FSANZ Nutrition Information Panel for Food Labels 

19/09/2023by admin0Read: 4 minutes

Reliable and accurate nutritional information is paramount when it comes to making informed decisions about the food we consume. FSANZ Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) serves as the ultimate guide to understanding the ingredients in the products we buy and consume. It is a vital resource that enables us to make healthier choices for ourselves and our loved ones.

Hence, understanding the role of FSANZ in regulating and setting standards for nutrition information is crucial.

In this blog, we have discussed, NIP, FSANZ NIP and its structure and the mandatory nutrient information requirements.

Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)

The Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) is a crucial component of food packaging, providing consumers with important information about the nutritional content of food products. Its primary purpose is to help individuals make informed choices about the foods they consume.

Accurate nutrition information enables customers to monitor their nutritional intake and make healthy dietary decisions. It assists individuals in ensuring that they are achieving their dietary requirements while avoiding excessive levels of specific nutrients that may be hazardous to their health.

However, incorrect or insufficient nutrition information can lead to consumers making poor dietary choices. This can result in poor dietary habits, an imbalanced nutritional intake, and potentially unfavourable health repercussions.

As a result, it is critical for food labelling to give accurate and comprehensive information in order to protect consumer health.

FSANZ Nutrition Information Panel 

(Food Safety Australia New Zealand) FSANZ Nutrition information panel (NIP) present on food labels provides information on the average amount of energy in kilojoules and kilocalories and the following nutrients:

  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Saturated fat
  • Sugars
  • carbohydrate
  • Sodium – a component of salt.

However, if a claim is made, an NIP will contain information regarding additional nutrients.

For example, if a meal claims to be a “good source of fibre,” the amount of dietary fibre in the item must be indicated in the NIP. The NIP must be supplied in a standard format that displays the average quantity per serving and per 100 g, or 100 mL if the product is a liquid.

But Certain meals, for example, do not necessitate an NIP.

They are:

  • Loosely sold unpacked food products.
  • Foods prepared and packed at the point of sale, such as bakery bread.
  • Herbs, packaged water, spices, tea and coffee because they do not have any significant nutritional value.

However, if a claim requiring nutrition information is made (for example, ‘excellent source of calcium’ or ‘low fat’), an NIP must be supplied.

Elements of NIP 

A Standard FSANZ NIP should include the following:

1. Serving size

The food industry determines the serving size, which might vary from product to product. The ‘per serving’ information may be used to estimate how much of a nutrient you’re consuming. If you’re managing your fat consumption, for example, use the ‘per serving’ value to calculate how much fat is in one portion of the dish.

2. Quantity per 100g

When comparing similar products, it’s useful to look at the “quantity per 100g” or “100ml” if it’s a liquid. The numbers in the “quantity per 100g” column represent percentages. For instance, if a product has 20g of fat in the “per 100g” column, then it contains 20% fat.

3. Energy/kilojoules

The energy value is the total number of kilojoules released by the body when food is consumed. Energy (kilojoules) is provided by protein, fat, carbohydrate, dietary fibre, and alcohol.

4. Protein

Protein is necessary for optimum health, and it is especially crucial for youngsters. In general, individuals in industrialised nations consume enough protein to fulfil their needs. Animal protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese. Protein-rich vegetables include lentils, dried peas and beans, nuts, and cereals.

5. Fat

The NIP defines fat as total fat. This is the sum of the food’s saturated fats, trans fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats.

However, in the NIP, the amount of saturated fat in the meal must also be specified individually.

If any of the following nutrition claims are made:

  • Cholesterol
  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fat
  • Polyunsaturated fats
  • Monounsaturated fats
  • Omega-3, omega-6 or omega-9 fatty acids

The NIP should include the average quantity. The amount of the stated fat, such as omega-3 fatty acids, must also be specified in the NIP.

6. Carbohydrates

Foods that contain carbohydrates include bread, cereals, rice, pasta, milk, vegetables, and fruit. The National Information Panel (NIP) categorises carbohydrates into starches and sugars. Foods that are high in starches include white, wholemeal, and wholegrain bread, cereals, rice, and pasta, as well as root vegetables and legumes.

7. Sugars

Sugars are a form of carbohydrate that is included in the NIP as well as stated individually. Sugars include naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in fruit, as well as added sugar. It’s worth noting that items with ‘no added sugar’ nutrition claims may contain a lot of natural sugars.

8. Dietary fibre

The nutrition information panel is not required to mention fibre unless a nutrition claim concerning fibre, sugar, or carbohydrate is made on the label, such as ‘rich in fibre’ or ‘low in sugar’.

The nutrition information panel generally comprises fiber information. However, it is highlighted only when specific claims are made, concerning fiber, sugar, or carbohydrate are made on the label, such as ‘rich in fiber’ or ‘low in sugar’.

9. Sodium/salt

Sodium is a component of salt that has been associated with high blood pressure and stroke. Hence, it is included on the nutrition information panel.

Nutrition Panel Calculator (NPC)

​ The NPC is a tool designed to assist food producers in calculating the average nutritional content of their food items and creating a nutrition information panel (NIP).

Its certain new features include:

  • Enhanced stability for continuous access
  • Simplified approach for creating recipes in three simple stages.
  • Quicker access to suggestions and guidance.

​However, there are legal obligations for presenting nutrition information for food. The standards may be found in Food Standards Code Standard 1.2.8 – Nutrition Information standards.

The NPC database contains Australian food composition data. Employers hailing from New Zealand should refer the New Zealand Food Composition Data website for more information.

Steps to use the NIP Calculator

The steps are as follows:

  1. Give your recipe/product a name.
  2. Enter your ingredients and amounts- utilise the calculator’s food database or information about your ingredients from the supplier, in the Product Information File (PIF), or in the product specification.

It should be noted that not all liquids in millilitres weigh the same. To calculate the weight of typical liquid meals, consult the list of specific gravity.

  1. In the calculator, enter the final product weight or % weight change.

Be mindful that certain foods lose weight when cooked, baked, or processed. During processing, some foods may acquire weight or liquids.

  1. Enter the serving size and quantity in the packaging.

Calculate and save the Nutrition Panel you created.

However, the accurate calculation of nutrients and creation of the Fsanz nutrition panel would require assistance from expert food safety consultants, and Anitech experts can help.

To create error-free accurate NIP for your organisation’s food products, feel free to call us at 1300 802 163 or e-mail – sales@anitechgroup.com.


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