Nutritional Table of Products in Mexico

As a businessman or entrepreneur in the food sector, you know how important it is to include the nutritional table on your products to comply with regulations in Mexico. However, obtaining nutritional tables for your products can be a long and complicated process, especially if you do not have the resources or knowledge required. In this article we will explain how to interpret a nutritional table of products in Mexico and how BRANDWATCH, a specialized agency, can help you obtain nutritional tables for your products quickly and easily.

What is a Food Nutrition Table?

Una nutritional table, also known as a nutritional label or nutritional information, is the legend printed on the packaging of prepackaged foods, which provides the consumer with information about the nutrients that said product contains. This label allows you to identify the amount of energy, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals per serving of the food.

In Mexico, the Official Mexican Standard NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010 establishes labeling requirements for prepackaged foods and non-alcoholic beverages. According to this standard, food products must present nutritional information in a visible place on the packaging. This information must be expressed per 100 grams or 100 milliliters, and per portion of the product.

The nutritional table must contain data such as:

  • Energy value or calories: expressed in kilocalories (kcal) or kilojoules (kJ) per serving.
  • Carbohydrates: the amount in grams (g) of sugars, starches and dietary fiber per serving is indicated.
  • Protein: specified in grams (g) per serving.
  • Fat: The total content of saturated fat, trans fat, monounsaturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat is declared in grams (g) per serving.
  • Vitamins and minerals: The amount in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg) of vitamins and minerals per serving is mentioned.
  • Sodium: Reported in milligrams (mg) per serving.
  • Cholesterol: expressed in milligrams (mg) per serving.

Why is it important to have a nutritional table in food products?

Having a nutritional table on food products is mandatory in Mexico to be able to market them, but it also represents several benefits for companies.

First, it provides transparency to the consumer about the ingredients and nutritional values ​​of the product, which generates trust and preference for the brand. By including nutritional information, the client can make informed decisions about their diet and health, and choose those foods that fit their needs.

Likewise, publishing nutritional data is a good corporate social responsibility strategy. Companies demonstrate their commitment to the health and well-being of consumers by providing them with complete information about what they are ingesting.

In addition, having a nutritional table endorsed by a certified laboratory is a requirement to export food to other countries, especially to the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all packaged products have nutritional information in order to be sold in the United States.

Finally, including accurate and updated nutritional values ​​is essential to avoid sanctions, fines and even withdrawal of products for non-compliance with the Official Mexican Standard NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010. Food companies must ensure that the information on their labels is truthful and complies with all legal requirements.

In conclusion, publishing a complete and endorsed nutritional table is mandatory in Mexico, but it also represents multiple benefits for companies such as generating trust in consumers, improving their social responsibility, facilitating the export of products and avoiding legal sanctions. Food companies should consider this requirement as an opportunity to strengthen their brand and relationship with customers.

Mandatory Information That A Nutritional Table Must Contain in Mexico

To comply with official Mexican standards (NOM), every nutritional table must contain certain mandatory information. This information helps consumers make informed dietary decisions and maintain a balanced diet.

First, the nutritional table should show the serving size of the product and the number of servings per container. This allows the consumer to determine how many calories and nutrients each serving and the entire container contains.

Second, the table should list the calorie content and the following nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, total sugars, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins/minerals. The absolute and percentage numerical values ​​of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDA) for each nutrient must be shown.

Third, the nutritional table should include the percentage of the recommended daily values ​​that one serving of the product meets for specific vitamins and minerals. For example, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C.

Fourth, the table should show the protein source if the product is a good source of protein. For example, “soy protein source” or “wheat protein source.”

Finally, the nutritional table should include the nutrition or health purpose statement, if applicable. For example, "low sodium," "cholesterol-free," or "source of fiber."

By providing this mandatory information clearly and accurately, nutritional tables fulfill their purpose of educating consumers about the nutritional content of foods and beverages. This allows people to make healthier food choices.

How to Read and Interpret Nutritional Information on Products

It is important to know how to correctly read and interpret the nutritional information presented in the table of Mexican food products. This information is mandatory for all prepackaged products in accordance with Official Mexican Standards.

nutritional table

The nutritional table shows the nutritional content of a standard serving of the product, including:

  • Calories: The energy provided by a portion of food. It is expressed in kilocalories.
  • Carbohydrates: Main source of energy. Includes natural and added sugars. It is measured in grams.
  • Proteins: Necessary for cell growth and maintenance. It is measured in grams.
  • Fats: They provide energy and help absorb vitamins. It is broken down into saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats. It is measured in grams.
  • Fiber: Helps digestion and prevents constipation. It is measured in grams.
  • Sodium: Important for water balance but in excess it can cause hypertension. It is measured in milligrams.
  • Sugars: Include naturally present and added sugars. It is measured in grams.
  • Vitamins and minerals: They are essential nutrients for health. They are expressed in percentages of daily values ​​(%DV) or international units.

It is important to compare nutritional values ​​with the Daily Dietary Guidelines to determine if a serving of the product is low, high or moderate in a certain nutrient. This allows you to make informed choices that contribute to a balanced diet.

BRANDWATCH is an agency specialized in advising consumer companies on compliance with nutritional labeling regulations. Our services include the bromatological analysis of products to determine their nutritional information, as well as the review and optimization of existing nutritional tables. We put our experience at your service to contribute to the success of your company.

Difference Between Theoretical Nutritional Table and Nutritional Table by Bromatological Analysis

The difference between a theoretical nutritional table and one based on bromatological analysis lies in the way in which the nutritional information displayed on the packaging is obtained.

A theoretical nutritional table is prepared from estimated calculations based on the product formulation. The ingredients, quantities and proportions of the recipe are considered to determine the total and per serving nutritional contribution of the product. This method is the most economical but has a margin of error, since it does not consider nutritional losses or gains during the production process.

On the other hand, a nutritional table by bromatological analysis is obtained through physicochemical tests carried out by an accredited laboratory. Samples of the final product are analyzed to accurately determine the content of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, sodium, sugars and other nutrients. This method gives much more reliable results but has a higher cost.

For products that are marketed in Mexico, the Official Mexican Standard 051 (NOM-051) establishes that nutritional information can be obtained by either of the two methods. However, for export products, especially to the United States, it is mandatory to present a nutritional table by bromatological analysis certified by an FDA-approved laboratory.

Due to the complexity of the process, many companies prefer to hire a specialized agency such as BRANDWATCH to prepare nutritional tables. Our professionals in nutrition and food science will determine the most appropriate method according to the characteristics of your product and will advise you to comply with all applicable regulations. In addition, we will take care of the procedures before the corresponding authorities to certify your labeling.

Warning Octagons: Mandatory Seals on Front Labeling

To correctly understand a nutritional table of products in Mexico, it is important to know the warning octagons, also known as “seals,” which express the excess of certain components important for the consumer's health.

Sugars

The “High in Sugars” octagon warns the consumer that the product contains a high content of added sugars. According to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010, a product must carry this seal if it contains 22.5 grams or more of total sugars per 100 grams. Added sugars include high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, honey, and all other added monosaccharides and disaccharides.

Saturated fats

The "High Saturated Fat" octagon warns the consumer that the product contains 6 grams or more of saturated fat per 100 grams. Saturated fats are those found mostly in foods of animal origin, such as lard, butter and cream. A diet high in saturated fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Sodium

The "High Sodium" octagon warns the consumer that the product contains a high sodium content, that is, 800 milligrams or more per 100 grams. A diet high in sodium is linked to high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. Sodium occurs naturally in some foods, but most comes from salt added during food preparation or processing.

To help consumers make informed decisions about the products they consume, it is mandatory to include these warning octagons on the front labeling of products that exceed established limits for sugars, saturated fats and sodium. In this way, we contribute to improving the eating habits and health of the population.

Consequences of Not Complying with Nutrition Labeling and Information Regulations

If you do not comply with the nutritional labeling and information standards stipulated in NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010, your food product may face serious consequences.

Firstly, you would be exposed to large fines from the corresponding authorities such as the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO) or the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS). Likewise, you risk having your product withdrawn from points of sale to correct the irregularities detected, which would imply economic losses by having to repackage and redistribute the product.

Furthermore, by not providing mandatory nutritional information, consumers will perceive your product as unreliable and potentially risky to health. This can translate into a decrease in sales and the positioning of your brand in the market.

Likewise, if you have export plans, it is essential that your labeling complies with the regulations of the destination country. For example, to sell your products in the United States, you must follow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for font size, placement, and content of the nutrition facts table. Otherwise, you risk having your product rejected at the border or removed from stores once on the US market.

In conclusion, complying with the provisions regarding nutritional labeling is of vital importance to operate safely and successfully in the food sector. Complying with regulations will allow you to avoid sanctions, maintain consumer trust and enter new export markets. Therefore, we recommend that you hire the services of a specialized agency such as BRANDWATCH that can advise you and verify that your nutritional labeling complies with all legal requirements.

How to Obtain the Nutritional Table for Your Food Products?

To obtain the nutritional table of your food products in Mexico, there are two main options: theoretical calculation or bromatological analysis in the laboratory.

The theoretical calculation option consists of determining the nutritional values ​​of your product based on the nutritional information of each of the ingredients that make it up, their quantities and some correction factor. This method is cheaper but less precise. It is mainly recommended for products that contain few ingredients.

Bromatological analysis in a specialized laboratory is the most reliable method. It consists of carrying out physicochemical tests on samples of your product to accurately determine the content of nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, sodium, sugars, among others. Although it costs more, it provides accurate results and helps ensure regulatory compliance.

Once the nutritional information of your product has been obtained, you must include it on the label following the format established in NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010. This standard specifies the font size, location and order in which nutritional information must be presented, including:

  •    Energy
  •    Carbohydrates
  •    Proteins
  •    Total fat
  •    Saturated fats
  •    Trans Fat
  •    Cholesterol
  •    Dietary fiber
  •    Sodium
  •    Sugars
  •    other nutrients

By meeting these requirements, your products can be marketed in Mexico. Likewise, you can contact BRANDWATCH, an agency specialized in product labeling, which can perform the necessary calculations or analyzes to obtain nutritional tables for your food products.

BRANDWATCH: Experts in Nutritional Tables

The nutritional table of food products is a mandatory requirement in Mexico to be able to market them. Both those made in the country and those imported must include it, with the exception of coffee, herbs and some single-ingredient products.

Information in the nutritional table

The nutritional table shows the energy and nutritional content of the products. Must include:

  • Energy (calories)
  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats (specify saturated)
  • Dietary fiber
  • Sugars
  • Sodium

Additionally, it may contain vitamin and mineral information. The values ​​must be expressed per 100 grams or 100 milliliters and per serving.

Recent changes

The Official Mexican Standards (NOM) were updated in 2020, establishing new requirements for the front labeling of foods and beverages. Now octagons must be included that warn about excess sugars, saturated fats, sodium and calories. These seals make it easier for consumers to understand nutritional information.

Importance and benefits

Complying with nutritional legislation is essential to be able to market food products. Additionally, providing this information is a good marketing strategy, as it builds consumer confidence in the safety and quality of the products.

Including real nutritional values, obtained by physicochemical analysis in laboratories, is the most precise option. Otherwise, approximate theoretical calculations can be used. In any case, it is advisable to periodically review the values ​​to detect possible errors.

The BRANDWATCH agency has experts in food analysis and labeling design who can generate or review nutritional tables for products destined for the Mexican or export market, complying with all current regulations.

Conclusion

Now that you understand the importance of having reliable and accurate nutritional tables for your food products, it is time to approach experts who can support you in this process. At BRANDWATCH we have certified nutritionists with extensive experience in the calculation and interpretation of nutritional tables that comply with all official Mexican standards. Our services range from the calculation of nutritional tables based on the formulation of your products, to complete bromatological analyzes in our laboratory to accurately determine the nutritional content.

If you want to offer food of the highest quality, reliable and safe products for your customers, and avoid sanctions for non-compliance with regulations; Come to BRANDWATCH and leave your nutritional tables in the hands of experts.