In Spain it will be mandatory, from 13 December, for labels on foodstuffs to include nutritional information, consisting of energy values, quantities of fats, saturated fats, carbohydrate, sugars, proteins and salt. Additionally, for consumers to be able to compare products, the label must contain this information for 100 grammes solid or 100 millilitres liquid.
This comes as the result of the application EU legislation on labelling, that is Regulation (EU) Nº 1169/2011, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, which has been in force since 13 December 2014, and regulates labelling, except for information related to nutritional values, which will be applicable as from 13 December 2016.
Other information may be added to this mandatory information on a voluntary basis, including the values of other nutrients: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, polyalcohol, starch, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Visible, legible and indelible information
The mandatory nutritional information must be easily seen, in such a way that it is readily visible, clearly legible and indelible. Print size is regulated as being equal or greater than 1.2 mm and must be displayed in a table format, unless insufficient space dictates that it should be in a linear format.
Furthermore, apart from values per 100 g or 100 ml, this information may also be expressed by portion or unit of consumption, as long as each portion or unit is expressed quantitatively on the label which indicates the number of portions or units contained in the packaging of each item.
The following items are exempt from declaring nutritional information: products which are not processed or cured and only consist of one ingredient, water, salt, spices, tea, vinegars, food additives, alcoholic drinks above 1.2% proof, foodstuffs where the package is less than 25 cm² ( such as individual jams or butter portions for catering), among others. Unwrapped products are also exempt, although information may be provided on a voluntary basis consisting only of energy values or energy values and the quantities of fats, saturated fats, sugars and salt, related per portion or unit for consumption.
The Spanish Agency for consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN) provides the consumer with a web page containing detailed information on this issue, such as prevailing legislation, informative material, frequently asked questions and new details on labelling.