Reference Intake RI s on food labels

The voluntary UK front of pack Nutrition Labelling Scheme launched on 19/6/2013 uses Reference Intake information RI –  this was known as Guideline Daily Amount (GDA).

It shows levels of energy, fat, saturates, sugar and salt in red, amber or green if the traffic light system is used. Adult values only for average sized woman.
The Nutrition Program only shows adult values on food labels in line with this UK labelling scheme.
Reference intakes are based on an average-sized woman doing an average amount of physical activity.

RIs for fat, saturates, sugars and salt are the maximum amounts that should be consumed in a day.

Reference intakes

These are the figures currently used on most FoP (Front of Pack) labels and are adult values, based on an average sized woman, doing an average amount of physical activity.

New Food Label 2013

New Food Label 2013

Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE – nutritional information on recipes for students

The Nutrition Program follows the rules for Reference Intake set out by the Department of Health, Food Standards Agency and other agencies.
Since 2014 RI on food labels only shows the RI for an adult woman.In the past whe n we used GDAs we showed men, women and a child of 5-10 years old.
Hidden in the Program if you click My Recipes – go to your recipe/ Nutrition/ Show 8 you see the table of nutrients.
At the bottom of the screen there is a green box withe Reference Intake. Click that and you will see old RI/GDA data for a child 5-10 years old.

If students are analysing each dish they can’t technically use RI for children as the data does not exist.
Instead go to My Meals and call the meal ‘Apple PIe’ or something. Choose the age and sex of the child and the meal type.
Choose the recipe you want the data for – say Apple pie and it adds one portion.
Go to Nutrition and it will show you Basic Nutrients and All nutrients and give you a good idea of how nutritious the dish is for a child.

Technically the RI is only for an adult woman.The RIs are defined in a new piece of legislation called the Food Information to Consumers Regulation. Download the document on this link.

The Regulation provides RIs for use on a label for Energy kJ, kcal, fat, saturates, (total) sugars and salt and these are the same as the current ‘adult’ GDA values, with the exception of protein which has changed from 45g to 50g and carbohydrate which has changed from 230g to 260g.

RIs (part B of Annex XIII of EU FIC – see Table 1 below).

Note: When re-labelling to meet the requirements of EU Regulation 1169/2011, you must use the RIs set out in the Regulation.

There is no provision in the Regulation for the use of Children’s RIs.

The European Commission and Member States have powers to adopt rules setting RIs for “specific population groups” (including children), but have yet to do so.

Reference intakes (EU FIC Annex XIII part B) for FoP nutrition labels

Energy (kJ)


Energy (kcal)










In addition the following statement must appear close to where information on Reference Intakes are given ‘Reference Intake of an average adult (8400kJ/2000kcal’).

The new Regulation can be found at:





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