What To Look Out For In Food Labels
Don't be fooled by the attractiveness of the food packaging. While we know that first impression matters, food labels behind food packaging provide important information to consumers. This information is important for consumers who have allergies, dietary restrictions and more.
Understanding the food labels behind your healthy snacks can help you identify relevant information to be considered before making a purchase to avoid buying products that would not suit your lifestyle. Here is a quick guide to read food labels at the back of the packaging.
Net weight is the actual weight or volume of food without calculating the weight of the packaging. Especially for canned food, the net weight includes the liquid in it.
The serving size is based on the amount of food consumers eat typically, not how much they should eat. It helps you see the amount of calories and nutrients — including fat, sugar, and salt — you get from eating a specific quantity.
If you have allergies, it's important to check the ingredients to see if there are any fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, nuts, sesame, wheat, soy, or other allergens. Some food labels mention the allergen starting with the term "contains" in or near the ingredients table. Also, some food products directly mention "egg-free" or "peanut-free" or bold print the name of the allergen they contain.
Each food product has a different term, some use the term ‘ingredients’ and some use the term ‘composition’ on the food label. All ingredients must be listed in order from the most used to the least. The ingredients with the highest proportion are at the top, followed by the second, third, and so on. This is one way to identify a halal snack second to the Halal logo.
Nutrition labels are generally found on the back or side of packaged. This label lists the amount of salt, total sugar, total carbs, total fat, saturated fat, and total energy in kilojoules (calories), in an average serving and per 100 grams of food. Some foods also show fibre, potassium, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and trans fat in nutritional facts table depending on the product claims. Whether the healthy food is high in fat, salt, or added sugar, nutrition information labels can help us decide and control how much we will eat.
Most cereals, biscuits, snacks, flour, canned and frozen foods, as well as other perishable foods, all have a best-before date. A food's “Best Before” dates are there to give you clues regarding freshness, taste and texture. If stored properly, pre-packaged foods are still very safe for consumption beyond these set dates. Did you know that Tasty Snack sells snacks and drinks that are short dated which means that its good and safe for consumption.
The expiry date is different from the best before date. The expiry date indicates that the food is no longer in excellent condition and cannot be consumed. Even if it is still sealed or unopened, food that has passed its expiration date needs to be thrown away.
Besides checking the expiration date, always follow the storage instructions on the food label, such as ‘keep refrigerated', 'keep frozen', and consume within the number of days indicated on the label such as 'once opened, consume within 3 days'. This is one way to preserve the freshness of the food.
Making better food shopping decisions can be assisted by understanding of the ingredients in the foods and beverages we consume for a healthy diet. At Tasty Snack, we make it easier for consumers by identifying allergens and certifications for you so you don’t have to worry when ordering snacks from us. Tasty Snack also has a mission to eliminate food waste and popularize a sustainable lifestyle. We hope to increase awareness and local acceptance about purchasing quality groceries that are closer to expiry. Let's not waste our wonderful world.