Food Labeling


This topic was moderated by Bi-Fong Lin, Ph.D. and Tony J. Fang, Ph.D. and included three lectures.


Elizabeth Dunford, Ph.D., Food Policy Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia discussed the use and development of a global branded food composition database to monitor product formulation, in which there are currently 29 countries involved, with high level input from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Health Organization and Pan- American Health Organization. Training seminars have been held in several countries to increase capacity to undertake data collection in low and middle income countries in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America, advanced technologies to improve data collection have been developed and distributed to eight countries, pilot data have been collected in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Fiji, Mongolia, New Zealand and the UK with data collection in six additional countries planned for 2013. This project will identify where food reformulation activities will have the greatest impact, will lead to improvements in the healthiness of the global food supply and contribute significantly to tracking progress of the food industry and governments towards commitments made at the recent UN high level meeting on chronic disease.


Wei Guang Fu, Ph.D., Professor, Food Industry Research and Development Institute, Taiwan discussed nutrition labeling for packaged foods in Taiwan. Dr. Fu focused on the introduction of current regulations for nutrition labeling for packaged foods in Taiwan, including nutrient content labeling, daily values of nutrient intake, and labeling formats. Dr. Fu indicated that labeling systems must be reviewed and revised to continually meet the changing food consumption needs and the development of food industry. Dr. Fu noted the importance of nutrition labeling information for consumer communication and education and public information.


Aman Wirakartakusumah, Ph.D., Professor, Food Science and Technology Department SEAFAST Center, Institute Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia gave a lecture entitled, “Labeling and Food Safety: Case of Fortified Oil as Functional Food.” Dr. Wirakartakusumah noted that food is no longer simply viewed as a source of just component nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fat, and vitamins, but also as functional in terms of health maintenance and prevention of chronic disease.  Dr. Wirakartakusumah discussed how this creates overlap between food and medicine in terms of labeling regulations, and stated the importance of clear guidelines regarding the labeling of functional food products and the validation of functional food claims. Dr. Wirakartakusumah emphasized that sound and thorough scientific evidence is required to claim food functionality and to ensure protection of consumer health.