Notice anything different about the nutrition panel on the back of the latest Navitas Organics bag? What’s with the large, bold number of calories per serving? Why have some of the serving sizes changed, and what is the difference between Total Sugars and Added Sugars? If you are asking these questions, you aren’t the only one.
Navitas is proud to offer our premium superfoods as – food. Sounds strange perhaps, but superfoods are often perceived and marketed as supplements due to their impressive nutrient values and functional benefits. Although many superfoods have medicinal qualities, they’re primarily consumed for sustenance, and have been used as ingredients in traditional dishes and beverages for centuries in countries to which they’re native.
Navitas Organics brings these superfood treasures from around the globe into our modern lives and kitchens. We believe our superfoods should be incorporated into one’s daily diet and lifestyle as any food would. Therefore, we offer them with a Nutritional Facts panel rather than a Supplement Facts panel. A seemingly subtle difference, this means that Navitas conforms to FDA regulations regarding food, unlike supplements, which are not reviewed by the FDA.
“FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.” (Source: FDA.gov)
After years of review for the first time since 1990, the FDA introduced new Nutrition Fact labeling guidelines on May 20, 2016. The new guidelines are intended to better educate and inform consumers, while more accurately representing serving sizes. Four principal areas of Navitas Organics Nutrition Facts panels have received a makeover, three of which include:
1) Calories have a bold, fresh look. They are front and center when your eyes meet the Nutrition Facts panel. The FDA and CDC believe that calories are vitally important for people wanting to make health-conscious decisions about the foods they eat.
2) Serving sizes have always been in question as to how they are determined. While some companies choose serving sizes that boast select nutrients and avoid others, it is required by law that food companies follow a guideline known as Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC). This means that serving sizes should reflect what the average person would actually consume. (You wouldn’t eat just one cookie, would you?) Navitas conforms to updated RACCs.
3) The inclusion of a mandatory “Added Sugars” value was one of the more heavily debated updates. The amount of Added Sugars — sugars that are added to foods during processing — must now be listed under the Total Sugars. As defined by the FDA, Added Sugars include:
“Sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, or are packaged as such, and include sugars (free, mono- and disaccharides), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are in excess of what would be expected from the same volume of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice of the same type.” (Source: FDA.gov)
Basically, if sugars are inherent, they do not qualify as “added.” All other ingredients that contribute to total sugar content must be reflected in the Added Sugars value.
The changes in these three areas are effectively designed to provide more transparency and accuracy to support consumers in their purchasing decisions. The fourth update we’ve made to our Nutrition Facts panel is in how we describe the qualities and benefits of our superfoods, based on the FDA’s standardized guidelines.
Check back for part two of “A Guide to Navitas Organics’ Updated Nutrition Facts” to gain a deeper understanding of why we use the language we use on our packaging and what it means for you.