Reference Intake RI for food labels

The new voluntary UK front of pack Nutrition Labelling Scheme launched on 19/6/2013 will use Reference Intake information – this was known as Guideline Daily Amount.

It will show levels of energy, fat, saturates, sugar and salt in red, amber or green if the traffic light system is used.

RIs for fat, saturates, sugars and salt are the maximum amounts that should be consumed in a day. These are the figures currently used on most FoP 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

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

𝐸𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑅𝐼 𝑜𝑟 100𝑔 𝑜𝑟 100𝑚𝑙 𝑥 100 = % 𝑅𝐼

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