Labelling and Advertising of Dietary Fibre-Containing Food Products

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Health Canada published a document titled "Policy for Labelling and Advertising of Dietary Fibre-Containing Food Products". This policy modifies the definition and caloric value of dietary fibre used in Canada which was adopted in 1988 by Health Canada. "Dietary fibre" and "fibre" are not defined in the Food and Drugs Act or its regulations.

Pursuant to section B.01.401 of the Food and Drugs Regulations (FDR), the label of a prepackaged product, that is not exempted in the regulations, shall carry a nutrition facts table that contains the energy value in "calories" and the amount of "fibre" or "dietary fibre". The nutrition facts table may also contains the amount of soluble fibre and insoluble fibre [B.01.402, FDR] and other statements of claim related to fibre as permitted in the FDR.

The new dietary fibre policy provides guidance on the labelling of fibre containing products with respect to:

  • total dietary fibre declaration
  • declaration of soluble and insoluble fibre as additional information
  • fibre-related nutrient content claims and health claims
  • caloric declaration for all unavailable carbohydrates, including dietary fibre, in the absence of specific values.

The document also establishes the new general caloric value of 2 kcal (8 kJ/g) for dietary fibre. This new value is to be used for all unavailable carbohydrate, including dietary fibre, in the absence of specific values, when nutrient values are declared, as required by the FDR.

When assessing compliance, CFIA has adopted the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) 2009.01 method as of April 1st, 2012. Health Canada's document also provides a list of acceptable and validated methods that may be used to quantify fibre.

It is the responsibility of all regulated parties to ensure that their products comply with all relevant Canadian legislation. During the first year of application of Health Canada's new dietary fibre policy, the CFIA will take an educational approach when assessing compliance of Nutrition Facts tables and claims on the labels and advertisements with respect to the FDR. Following this one-year transition period, the CFIA will resume regular compliance and enforcement activities with respect to fibre, energy value and related claims on labels and advertisements pursuant to the requirements in the FDR and taking into consideration Health Canada's new dietary fibre policy.

Submissions for novel fibre sources as well as submissions for health claims for dietary fibre made on food sold in Canada should be sent to Health Canada. Please consult Health Canada's Policy for Labelling and Advertising of Dietary Fibre-Containing Food Products.

Originally issued February 19, 2013 (Notice to Industry)

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