The rules behind food and beverage labels are going to change as their industries do. To keep up, companies can save time by using fast, efficient label printing systems that match the size of their orders. When it comes to products that claim to be healthy – using that specific word – the requirements could change soon.
On Sept. 28, the Food and Drug Administration submitted a request for information about this topic. According to the federal register, commenters have until Jan.1, 2017 to respond to the document.
This submission follows both the Foods and Veterinary Medicine plan released in July and a citizen petition from December 2015. Some of the related issues include how important nutrient content is for something to be considered "healthy" and whether other words (such as "nutritious") may be more appropriate.
While the issue of putting health claims on food products may be controversial, some argue that proper language will make a difference. These defenders include FDA food labeling expert Doug Balentine, who told NPR about the importance of food labels in consumer decisions.
"The typical consumer makes a purchase decision in three to five seconds," Balentine said. "They don't have a lot of time." He later added that his organization wants "to give consumers the best tools and information about the foods they choose."
Although this issue is clearly still in development, there's time to seek out the necessary systems to stay productive. Designing compliant specialty food labels can be particularly difficult without the right systems on hand. To counter this, businesses have the choice of versatile printers that will work for multiple different jobs.