Labelling of food: a challenge for many

Main Article Content

Frans Henderikx


Background. In food marketing, there is a trend towards artisanal, traditional “honest” food, and simultaneously to good looking, long lasting, multi-purpose food with a clean label. In addition, marketeers like to upgrade the image of the food, including the label, using various digital techniques. This can produce (un)intended non-conformities with the current food law on labelling, which in this review, refers to Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (European Union, 2011). Food and meat labelling have been subjected to increased regulation in the recent years, sometimes after scandals (horse-gate, food fraud), sometimes due to wishes of consumer organisations (nutritional information) and sometimes after the introduction of new types of ingredients (sweeteners, phytosterols, nanomaterials).

Scope and approach. This review provides information about food labelling. Some experiences gathered by food inspectorate personnel in practice, with reference to the literature data, positive aspects, main problems and trends are discussed.

Key findings and conclusion. Food labelling is a complex requirement, with the general demands written down in the harmonized regulation (European Union, 2011). Foods sold by e-commerce must also follow these same regulations. However, many food labels on the market show smaller and/or bigger deviations from the legal requirements, which should be appropriately addressed by the food manufacturers or packers, but also by the competent authorities. Even training of consumers seems to be needed, since all this information is, in the end, intended for consumers to aptly utilise.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Henderikx, F. (2017). Labelling of food: a challenge for many. Veterinarski Glasnik, 71(1), 16-23.
Mini Review
Author Biography

Frans Henderikx, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority

Senior food inspector

Division Consumer & Safety




Arayess, S. & J. Hendrickx. 2016. Misleiding op verpakkingen (Deception on packagings).VMT, Voedingsmiddelen, management en technologie 8: 34-36.

de Jong, M. 2016. Gezondheidsclaims te complex en te duur (Health claims to difficult and expensive). VMT, Voedingsmiddelen, management en technologie2: 24-25.

de Mooij, W.-P. 2017. Klein label, grotere foutkans (Small label, big error probability). VMT, Voedingsmiddelen, management en technologie 1: 28-29.

European Union. 2004. Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.

European Union. 2011. Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004.

Irving, D. 2016. Groeiende invloed van kinderen (Growing influence of children). VMT, Voedingsmiddelen, management en technologie 16: 16-17.

Janssen, A. 2016. Clean label is maatwerk (Clean label is custom made). VMT, Voedingsmiddelen, management en technologie 6: 16-17.

Negrao, C.C., Mizubuti, I.Y., Morita, M.C., Colli, C., Ida, E.I., Shimokomaki, M. 2005. Biological evaluation of mechanically deboned chicken meat protein quality. Food Chemistry 90: 579- 583.

Visser, S. 2016. Hoe lang nog onduidelijke informatie op etiketten (How much longer unclearinformation on labels). VMT, Voedingsmiddelen, management en technologie 7: 17.

Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.