Skip to content

Nutritional Labelling

The purpose of nutritional analysis now is to provide the information you need to make healthy choices for the food you eat. It is designed to provide the facts for nutrients that impact common health concerns, such as weight control, diabetes and high blood pressure and to guide those following a special diet.


Why is nutritional analysis important?

Nutritional analysis is an important part of food product development. It allows you to understand your ingredients and how they interact with each other, as well as how they affect the nutritional composition of your finished product. Without this information, it’s hard to create a product that meets customer expectations for taste and nutrition.

Nutrition facts labels

The Nutrition Facts label is the most important piece of information on the package. It’s required on all food products sold in the UAE and must include a statement about the serving size and servings per container. The Nutrition Facts label is an important tool for you as a food product developer because it helps you identify any issues with your product before you launch it into the market. The label also lets customers know what they are eating and can help them make better choices about their diet.

There are two types of nutrition facts labels – basic and full. The basic nutrition facts label provides information on calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrates. The full nutritional information includes all of this along with vitamin A, D, E and K; calcium; iron; protein; dietary fibre; potassium; copper; manganese; niacin (B3) and thiamin (B1).

The science of food and nutritional analysis has developed rapidly in recent years. Food scientists analyze foods to obtain information about their composition, appearance, texture, flavor, shelf life, etc., and also to guarantee the quality of the product. Nutrition analysis refers to the process of determining the nutritional content of foods and food products. The process can be performed through a variety of certified methods. This process is often used by manufacturers to ensure that their products meet the standards set by regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has set strict dietary requirements for Americans, which include minimum levels of nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also regulates what ingredients can be added to foods such as salt or sugar.



We conduct food testing for all nutritional parameters and is accredited EIAC, GAC, IAS as per  ISO/IEC 17025 for the testing of food samples. We are experienced in nutritional labeling for hotel and restaurant menus. We also provide nutritional analysis of packaged food products like –

  • Dietary supplements
  • Protein powders
  • Health drinks
  • Infant formula
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Cakes
  • Namkeen
  • Chips
  • Ready to eat foods
  • Cooked foods
  • Bakery products
  • Dairy products
  • Meat and meat products
  • Candies and sweets
  • Pickles, purées and pastes
  • Sauces
  • Menu Labeling.. etc.

We provide consultation on the labeling requirements to help you ascertain the tests that need to be conducted and nutritional food testing services like – 

  • Energy
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Calorific Value
  • Sugar
  • Fibre
  • Dietary fibre
  • Fats
  • Saturated Fatty Acids
  • Monounsaturated Fatty Acid
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Trans fats
  • Cholesterol
  • Vitamins – A,E,D,K,B,C
  • Minerals – Ca, Fe, Na, K, Zn, Mg, Mn, I, P, Se and many more
  • Amino acids
  • Nucleotides

Energy and Calorific Value

The amount of energy required in human nutrition for maintain health and fuel to a body is vital so it need to be quantified and labelled.  In nutrition, the term “calorie” is generally denoting as kilocalorie (or kcal), which is 1,000 calories. Calorific value exhibits the quantity of energy the customer gets by consuming a particular food product. The four macronutrients carbohydrates, fat, protein and alcohol provide different amounts of energy. Energy content of food can be determined by employing bomb calorimetery based on the heat of combustion. Nutritional energy can also obtain from simple calculation by utilizing proteins carbohydrates and fat (mass in grams). 


Most of the nutrient content claims regards to protein are on the Daily Value (DV) and the Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACCs).  A food product should contain 10-19% of the DV or 5 to 9.5g of protein as per RACC have a nutrient content claim of “Good Source of Protein”. So protein testing in food products is essential, as it can determine the economic value of food product. Protein analysis gains more significance especially for the determination of concentration, structure, and functional properties for the purpose of labelling.  The methods for the detection of protein content are biochemical methods, spectrophotometric methods, chromatographic methods, electrophoresis and immunology.  Commonly used biochemical methods to measure protein content are Kjeldahl method and enhanced Dumas method. The international standards which recommended the protein determination is listed as ISO 20483:2013, ISO 16634-1:2008, ISO 1871:2009, ISO 5983-1:2005, ISO 8968-1:2014, ISO 16634-2:2016, AOAC 981.10, AOAC 991.20, AOAC 2001.11, AOAC 950.36, AOAC 979.09


The sugar content in food can be natural (fruits) as well as artificial (added sugar during the manufacturing process), so nutritional labeling is vital to distinguish both. Sugars are either included as part of the carbohydrates that are listed in the nutrition information panel or listed separately. Soluble sugars, mainly glucose, fructose and sucrose, can be determined using refractometry or colorimetry. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with refractive index detector (RID) or evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD) and pulsed amperometric detector (PAD) is the commonly used technique for analysis of individual compounds.  ISO 22184:2021, AOAC 977.20, AOAC 980.13, AOAC 982.14, AOAC 984.22, AOAC 996.04, AOAC 2000.17, GSO 134:1991 are some of the international standards we implement to evaluate the sugar content in food.

Dietary Fiber

Dietary Fiber is an essential label nutrient, belongs to the category of carbohydrates total. The nutritional label on food products exhibit dietary fiber per serving in grams (g) or % Daily Value (%DV).  These dietary fibres are seem to be beneficial for diabetes, cholesterol, obesity and reduction of the risk of coronary heart disease. Therefore, the requisite for the testing of dietary fiber is seeking greater attention.  Moreover, depending on the total dietary fibre content and its explicit constituents, several health claims are permissible like ‘source of fibre’ or ‘high fibre”.  Enzymic gravimetric method stipulated by AOAC has been employed for the evaluation of dietary fiber. AOAC 2009.01, AOAC 2011.25, AOAC 2017.16/ICC, AOAC 2017.16 are some of the international standards recommended for the evaluation of dietary fibers.

Fat test

Fat in the nutritional information panel indicates the amount of fat in single serving of food. They are the important source of energy as it contains as much energy per gram as carbohydrates or protein. Fat extraction plays the crucial role in food testing and safety as it paves the way for the accurate calculation of nutrition facts by enhancing quality assurance. Soxhlet method is generally employed for the fat extraction procedure.  Other methods include acid hydrolysis, Bligh-Dyer method, Folch Method, Hara–Radin Method, rapid microwave solvent extraction, Rose-Gottlieb method and solvent extraction.   We strictly follow the stipulated limits recommended by international standards for fat extraction which includes ISO 23319:2022, ISO 23318:2022, ISO 1443:1973, ISO 19662:2018, ISO 19662:2018, ISO 11085:2015, ISO 3433:2008, ISO 1443:1973, ISO 11870:2009, ISO 19660:2018, ISO 6492:1999, ISO 1444:1996, ISO 19660:2018, ISO 17189:2003, ISO 8262-3:2005, ISO 2446:2008, ISO 23318:2022, AOAC 989.05-1992, AOAC 920.39, AOAC 991.36, AOAC 925.12,  AOAC 960.39, AOAC 954.02, AOAC 991.36, AOAC 969.33, GSO ISO 1443

Fatty acids

Fatty acids are lipid biomolecules containing carboxylic acids groups which forms structural units of oils and fats. They exist in all organisms and carry out a variety of functions.  Fatty acids are categorized into two as essential and non-essential fatty acids. Nonessential fatty acids can be synthesized in the body while essential fatty acids must be ingested as it provides good health and exists as two families -omega-3 (ω-3) and omega-6 (ω-6) Non-essential fatty acids are generally congregated as saturated fatty acids (SAFA), mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). SAFA have only single bond and MUFA have one double bond while own the chain length of 14–24 carbons. PUFA encompass two or more double bonds with 16–22 carbon and 2–6 double bonds. Highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) are PUFA with 20 or more carbon atoms and 3 or more double bonds.  Among this category of fatty acids; saturated fatty acids and trans fats enhance the risk for coronary heart disease. Saturated fat is one of the unhealthy fats like trans-fat and generally found in cheese, butter, palm oil, coconut oil, red meat etc. Trans fats are mostly manufactured via hydrogenation of unsaturated oils. The three components highlighted in the Global Strategy in nutritional labelling are total fat, saturated fat and trans fatty acids.  The fatty acid composition is usually determined as the methyl esters of fatty acids (FAME); saponification followed by methylation is the classical method for the preparation of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). Essential fatty acids and non-essential fatty acids can be analyzed simultaneously with good precision and reproducibility via gas chromatography (GC) coupled with flame ionization detector (FID). AOAC 996.06 is the conventional method for the determination of fatty acid and the other international standards like ISO 24363:2023, ISO 12966-4:2015, AOAC 996.01 can also be employed.


Diet can significantly influence the blood cholesterol level. A nutritionally balanced diet with minimal intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol is highly recommended.  Cholesterol are usually higher in saturated fat and diets with higher concentration of saturated fat enhance the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.   Cholesterol free in the nutritional labelling of food product indicates that it might contain less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and less than or equal to 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.   It can be analyzed habitually by gas chromatography (GC)-FID without derivatization; though high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with ultraviolet/Visible/photodiode array detector can also be used. More advanced methods, such as GC/HPLC-isotope dilution/mass spectrometry, are primarily used for quality control purposes. AOAC 976.26, AOAC994.10, ISO 17678:2019, ISO 11702:2016, ISO 12228-2:2014 are some of the international standards citing the determination of cholesterol in food products.


Vitamins are biologically active group of organic compounds having low molecular weight; they are required in smaller amount for human body. The analysis of vitamins in food is meant for providing quality assurance, the stability checking during food processing, packaging and storage; and nutrient labelling regulation.  There may be 14 vitamins which can listed in the nutritional information panels; they are  biotin, choline, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. HPLC and LC–MS methods are available for the detection of vitamins.  We employ international standards including ISO 12080-1:2009, ISO 12080-2:2009, ISO 12080-2:2009, ISO 14565:2000, ISO 14892:2002, ISO 20635:2018, ISO 20636:2018, ISO 20633:2015, AOAC 2001.13, AOAC 995.05 for the detection of vitamins in food. GSO 2539:2017 specifies the permitted values for vitamins and minerals in food stuffs.


The nutritional labelling can act as a tool for consuming a diet rich in minerals expressed in terms of milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg) and the % Daily Value (%DV).  In the nutrition facts label, 14 minerals may be listed – calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc.   Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) can be employed for the analysis of minerals. The tests recommended by the international standards including ISO 6486-1:2019, ISO 6486-2:1999, ISO 7086-1:2019, ISO 8391-1:1986, AOAC 2015.01, EN 1186-9:2002, EN 1186-3:2022, GSO 20:2016 provide good reliability in investigating metal analysis.

Amino acids

Amino acids in foods occur either in a free form or bound in peptides, proteins, or nonpeptide bonded polymers. The testing of protein amino acids or amino acid enantiomers is inevitable due to the implementation of new methods of food processing include bacterially derived food proteins, genetically modified foods; and the introduction of new plant food sources. The conventional methods for separation and quantitation of free amino acids either before or after protein hydrolysis comprise of ion exchange chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and capillary electrophoresis. LC-MS is currently the most widely used analytical technique.  ISO 13903:2005, ISO 4214:2022, ISO 17180:2013, AOAC 982.30, AOAC 988.15, AOAC 994.12 are some of the international standards for the systematic analysis of amino acids.


As per the Food Allergy Safety,
Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act by FDA, there are nine
allergens in food products- milk, egg-yolk, mustard, shellfish, tree nuts,
peanuts, wheat, soybeans and sesame. All FDA stipulations are applicable to
major food allergens including labelling and manufacturing. The consumers with
allergies should be aware of the major allergens in the specific products;
defined the purpose of allergen labeling. The analytical methods for allergen
detection are mostly based on immunochemistry, mass spectrometry (MS) and
genomic amplification includes-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA),
polymerase chain reaction (PCR), liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
(LC-MS).  EN 15633-1:2019, EN 17644:2022
describe the methodology for evaluating food allergens.


As per the Food Safety and Standards, the nutritional information is required to be mentioned on the label.

If the limits do not match with what has been specified on the label or not falling in line with the regulatory guidelines then the product will be considered as a misbranded/substandard product and the food business operator is liable to be punished. The act also requires periodic food testing be carried out on the ingredients and products.

The information about the nutritional constituents like Vitamins, Minerals, protein along with their values in the food products & health supplements should be declared on the labels.

A constant check through regular food testing needs to be done on the nutritional ingredients in reference to the recommended values which are safe for human consumption.

The values for nutritional elements like, Vitamins, Minerals, Energy, Protein, Sugar, Fat should be under the prescribed dietary limits in the food items and this shall be printed on the labels based on results of food testing. If present in excess nutritional contents can cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps and other side effects.

The food business operator has to mention the exact values of nutritional elements on the labels. The consumers have to be informed about the complete information on the labels so that they can make their choice while buying a food product.

A food label with facts on nutritional value serves as an important source of information to the consumers especially in case of children or people seeking a food product to fulfill their specific needs.

The nutritional information on the label also serves as a competitive edge as the consumer can compare the nutritional constituents between different brands while they make choice for the healthy food .

We have an experienced team equipped with the latest instruments for food testing for nutritional labeling compliance for waste water testing and more. The parameters depending upon the nature of sample and the purpose of the analysis.

Where can you get a nutritional analysis done in the UAE?

The nutritional analysis should be conducted in a certified laboratory like our METS Lab, for all your food analysis needs. We are one of the leading laboratories in the region, with experience in providing quality testing services. We are an ISO accredited laboratory with a ISO 17025 accreditation from EIAC. 

For more details on Nutritional Labelling for your product in UAE/ Abu Dhabi/ Qatar/ Uk/ India, please feel free to contact METS Lab.