EU General Rules for the Labeling of Prepackaged Food (Part 2)

1. Name of the Food

The name of the food shall be clear, factual, and generally understandable, and it shall describe which food it is. Sometimes the name of the food is legally required. For example, the term "milk chocolate" can be used only when it meets the definition in the Cocoa Ordinance and the term "Emmental" can be used only when it meets the definition in the Cheese Ordinance. If there is no legally prescribed name, either a common name such as " königsberg meatballs" or a description such as "salami with herb edge" will be used. Many of the common names are listed in the guiding principles of the European Food Book.


In addition to the name of the food, manufacturers give their products fantasy names (trade names) so that they can be distinguished from the products of other manufacturers. These often tell consumers special properties of the products, but they cannot replace the name of the food. In order to facilitate consumers to make a conscious purchase decision, it is important to give nutrition information and make distinctions between the two names.


2. Ingredients List

The ingredients list provides information about the ingredients used in the production of the food. These must be listed in descending order of weight percentage.  What is listed first in the ingredients is what counts the most percentage. In addition, the ingredients list provides important information on the individual ingredients, e.g. whether they contain allergens or additives (This will be covered in the next chapter). Furthermore, vegetable oils and fats must be named after their vegetable origin, e.g. "soybean oil" or "rapeseed oil". All ingredients present in the form of engineered nanomaterials must be followed by the word "nano" in parentheses; similarly, genetically modified organisms (GMO) must be labeled "genetically modified" or "produced from genetically modified ...".

ZMUni: Stay tuned for more information on this topic!


Information source:

Food Federation Germany. (2019). Lebensmittelkennzeichnung verstehen -. Lebensmittelverband Deutschland.


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