Food labelling e-learning course
Food supplements

Food supplements

Vitamin C 500mg Food supplement

Food supplements are defined as any prepacked foodstuffs designed to supplement the normal diet with a concentrated form of vitamins and minerals, or other physiologically effective substances. Products are normally sold in dose form and have their own specific labelling requirements.

Only permitted vitamins and minerals can be used in the manufacture of food supplements. These must meet the relevant purity criteria.

Maximum safe levels of particular vitamins and minerals in food supplements have not yet been established.

Food supplement products that are sold directly to consumers or to caterers must be named 'food supplement'. They must also be labelled with the following additional statements:

  • The name of the category of vitamin, mineral or other substance with a nutritional or physiological effect that characterises the product.
  • The portion of the product recommended for daily consumption.
  • A warning not to exceed the recommended daily dose.
  • That food supplements should not be used to substitute a varied diet.
  • That the product must be stored out of reach of young children.

The amount of any vitamin, mineral or substance with a nutritional or physiological effect must be declared:

  • in numerical form
  • in the relevant units
  • as the amount per portion of the product as recommended for daily consumption on the labelling
  • as an average amount based on the manufacturer's analysis

For a vitamin or mineral listed in the nutrition labelling directive, the amount should also be shown as a percentage of the relevant recommended daily allowance.

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