3 Key Things to look for on a Food Label to determine whether you should buy it or not
1). Nutrition Information Panel- Compare between products using the ‘per 100g’ column since the ‘per serve’ amount varies and is determined by the manufacturer. See the image for nutrients to focus on for different food groups and what’s ideal.
2). Ingredient List- Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight or volume i.e. the first 3 ingredients are the main 3 ingredients. “Other names for fat, sugar and sodium: • Fat: animal oil, beef fat, butter fat, copha, lard, milk solids, palm oil, shortening, tallow, vegetable oil • Sugar: sucrose, brown sugar, caster sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, lactose, malt, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar • Sodium: baking soda, celery salt, garlic salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG or 621), rock salt, sea salt, sodium bicarbonate” Food additives in the ingredient list contain the code/name and function. For what the functions mean see: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/additiveinfo/pages/default.aspx
3). Allergy information if you have allergies.
Check out the FSANZ ‘Interactive labelling poster’ for more information: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/labelling/Pages/interactive-labelling-poster.aspx