NRVs and food labelling

I’ve just discovered that fat labels show NRVs so it’s time to get up to date.

NRV stands for Nutrient ReNRV's Nutrient Reference Valueference Value.

It is a replacement term for RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) and you will see it on some products from December 2014 – a new European regulation.

NRV is a guideline of the minimum amount of a particular vitamin or mineral required by the average person to stay healthy

So instead of % RDA you will see %NRV’s.

Vitamin B3 is listed as Nicotinic acid.

Allergens are listed in bold.

Sodium will  be labelled salt.

Nutrition Expert is a useful website.


RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowance) have now changed to NRV’s (Nutrient Reference Values). Instead of 100% RDA, you will now see 100% NRV. The values for RDA and NRV’s are exactly the same – NRV is a straight replace of RDA.

NRVs (Nutrient Reference Values) are a set of recommendations for nutritional intake based on currently available scientific knowledge. They state the level of intake of essential nutrients considered to be adequate to meet the known nutritional needs of practically all healthy people for the prevention of deficiencies, i.e the amount of vitamins and minerals you need to be consuming to prevent becoming ill.

Current (May 2016) Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) for vitamins and minerals as set in the EU can be seen below:

NRV minerals



Food labelling for vegetarian and vegan

This advice comes from Food Standards Agency Scotland

The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 prohibits false or misleading descriptions.

Labels for  vegetariavegann and vegan are voluntary. If not on the label, you must read the list of ingredients.

Food Labelling 2004 Regulations state that all Compound ingredients used in a product – such as sponge fingers in a trifle – must list their ingredients. Except jam, chocolate, mixed herbs and spices, and ingredienvegetarian-labelts that are less than 2% of finished product.

But allergenic ingredients must be shown such as sesame, gluten, eggs.

The term vegetarian must not be used for foods that are made from dead animals.

The term vegan cannot be used for foods that are made from dead animals or from products from living animals – for example, milk.


The Vegetarian Society and Vegan Society provide useful information and on additives, processing aids and flavourings.

Products made from living animals include milk, eggs, honey, bee pollen.


Products made with the help of these products include cheese made with rennet, yogurt made from gelatine, whey, additives, flavourings and carriers such as lecithins.


Nutrition and food labelling back of pack

Clear food labelling up and until 2014

(a) the name of the food;
(b) a list of ingredients; the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients;
(c) the appropriate durability indication;
(d) any special storage conditions or conditions of use;
(e) the name or business name and an address or registered office of either or both of:-
(i) the manufacturer or packer, or
(ii) a seller established within the European Community;
(f) particulars of the place of origin or provenance of the food if failure to give such particulars might mislead a purchaser to a material degree.

• Name of the food
• Net weight or volume, where required;
• List of ingredients, including allergens;
• Date mark, or a reference to where it can be found;
• Instructions for use and/or storage;
• Nutrition information, if required;
nutrition labelling gives energy value, amounts of protein, carbohydrate, sugars, fats, saturates, fibre and sodium.




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–  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 labelling scheme.

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


The RIs are defined in a new piece of legislation called the Food Information to Consumers Regulation.

You can 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 currently 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’).

Companies who currently provide nutrition information have until December 2014 to change their labels to be compliant with the new legislation, although can make the changes before this.

The new Regulation can be found at:

From 13 December 2014, you will be able to use only the reference intakes listed in Annex XIII unless, as provided for by EU FIC . Our Food Labeller program helps you to do this online.


Calculate and insert the % RI for each nutrient

The calculations for arriving at the correct % RI for each nutrient and energy are as follows:


𝑜𝑓 𝑛𝑢𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑅𝐼 𝑥 100 = % 𝑅𝐼

𝐸𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑅𝐼 𝑜𝑟 100𝑔 𝑜𝑟 100𝑚𝑙 𝑥 100 = % 𝑅𝐼





Traffic light labels

The Nutrition Program creates a traffic light label for your recipes which show whether a food has a high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) level of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar. They make it easy to compare foods and see which is healthier. If you choose a food that is high in fat one day, you can balance it with one that is low another. Most supermarkets are using this system of labelling to help their customers make healthy choices.

New Traffic light labelling for 2014

Links to Eatwell site

Information needed:• Amounts of fat, saturates, total sugars and salt per 100g/ml for a product. Portion size criteria apply to portions over 100g.

Table 2: Criteria for 100g of food (whether or not it is sold by volume)









Colour code









> 3.0g to


> 17.5g/100g

> 21g/portion



> 1.5g to


> 5.0g/100g

> 6.0g/portion

(Total) Sugars


> 5.0g and

22.5g /100g

> 22.5g/100g

> 27g/portion



> 0.3g to




This was the previous traffic light labelling

traffic light older info