Health Canada introduces new rules for supplemented foods, front-of-package nutrition labeling

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Gettyimages-Goran13
Picture: Gettyimages-Goran13

Related tags: Health canada, Food labeling regulations, Canada, fortified foods

Health Canada has published new labeling standards for supplemented foods such as snacks and beverages fortified with vitamins and minerals or caffeinated energy drinks; and introduced new nutrition labelling regulations for packaged foods requiring a front-of-pack symbol declaring if a food is high in saturated fat, sugars or sodium.

Historically, manufacturers and distributors have had to obtain a Temporary Marketing Authorization (TMA) to sell supplemented foods in Canada. Supplemented foods already on the market with a TMA or application submitted before July 21, 2022, will have until December 31, 2025 to comply with the new regulations.

However, all new supplemented foods will need to immediately comply with the regulations, which stipulate that added ingredients must be on a list of permitted supplemental ingredients,​ while products must be on a list of permitted supplemented food categories​ (which excludes alcoholic drinks, infant foods and some other special categories). 

If the supplement category or ingredient is not on either list, manufacturers can petition Health Canada to amend the lists.

Under the new regulations, ​all supplemented foods must have a standardized Supplemented Food Facts table that features information on the amount of the added ingredients, directions for use, conditions of use, and relevant cautionary statements (eg. 'Not recommended for those under 14 years old...')

Supplemented foods are considered separate from fortified foods, which are things such as iodized salt; flour with B vitamins and iron; milk and margarine with vitamin D, and enriched cereal grains fortified with folic acid.

Read more about the new rules HERE​.

supplemented foods infographic source health canada
Source: Health Canada

Nutrition labelling   

Separately, a new front-of-package nutrition labeling symbol​ - coming into force in January 2026 - will be required on foods high in sodium, sugar, or saturated fat, with packaged foods high in one or more of these nutrients required to display the symbol below.

The nutrition symbol will appear in the upper half of the label for most packages on the right side of the label, if the label is wider than it is tall.

A food is determined to be high in salt, sugar, and/or saturated fat if it meets or exceeds these thresholds:

  • 10% DV for small servings (≤30g/mL)
  • 15% DV for general servings (>30g/mL)
  • 30% DV for main dish servings (≥200g/mL)
  • 30% DV for main dishes marketed to children ages 1 to 4 (≥170g/mL)

Certain foods are exempted, however, including foods with recognized health benefits (fruits and vegetables, 2% and whole milk, eggs, foods high in good fats, and combinations of these foods) and foods that are good sources of shortfall nutrients such as cheese and plain yogurt, which may be higher in saturated fat or sugars but provide a source of calcium, for example.

Raw, single ingredient meat, poultry, fish, and foods sold at farmer’s markets are excluded  along with ground forms of single ingredient meat and poultry as long as no health claims are made, foods not directly sold to consumers and in very small packages such as coffee creamers, and some single ingredient foods such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, salt, butter, and olive oil.

Read the new rules HERE​.  

nutrition label canada

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