Manufacturer FAQPublished on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 16:25
- Category: The Facts
- Written by Megan
Q: What is the FoodFacts.com Health Score? How do you reach this score?
A: The FoodFacts.com Health Score is calculated using a unique, patent-pending algorithm that combines traditional measures of nutrition facts along with quality of ingredients, while excluding any personal bias or prejudice. No manufacturers have an input on our score, the product’s taste is not a consideration, and we don’t score comparatively to other products. The score is not meant to be a final judgment on a product, but a guideline to help consumers navigate the often confusing world of ingredient lists and nutritional labels. The score is not based specifically on the number of good or bad things in a product – each type of good or bad thing can have a different weight. Even different types of controversial ingredients can affect the score differently.
Please click here for a more detailed explanation of the FoodFacts Health Score.
Q: What is the orange question mark icon?
A: That icon will now accompany any product on our site that does not have a full ingredients list due to the manufacturer's decision not to disclose it. Click here to read more, or contact us to submit an ingredient list.
Q: Where does FoodFacts.com get its information?
A: We collect our information either from the product’s nutrition label and ingredient lists, or from the manufacturer directly. While accurate and up-to-date listings are our highest priority, manufacturers do change their formulations from time to time, so there are occasions when our listings may be out of date. We recommend always reviewing a product label for allergens or other ingredients that trigger sensitivities. As always, if you find a score that may be incorrect or a product not yet added to our database, please feel free to contact us.
Q: I’d like to list my products, or add more of my products, on FoodFacts.com. Who can I contact? What information does FoodFacts.com need?
A: To increase your brand visibility and expose our members to more of your products, please email email@example.com. We need a product’s UPC, size, picture, nutrition label and ingredient list in order to add it to the site, and we’re here to answer any questions you may have.
Q: My product’s information is out-of-date or incorrect. Who can I contact?
A: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and identify yourself as the manufacturer. We’re dedicated to accurate, up-to-date information and will correct the data quickly.
Q: I disagree with my product’s score.
A: If you believe there is an error in your score, either due to incorrect information or otherwise, please contact us ASAP at email@example.com so that we can work with you to resolve the issue. There are a few things to keep in mind regarding our score: it is not based on taste or manufacturer input, and a product that legitimately earns a lower score will not be changed.
Q: I want to remove my product from your site.
A: Foodfacts.com health score is a product review that offers consumers our opinion on the quality of a certain product. We reach this opinion using mathematical equations that remove personal bias or prejudice, but the Health Score still represents our opinion, which our consumers value. This score is not meant to be a final judgment on a product, but a guideline to help consumers navigate the often confusing world of ingredient lists and nutritional labels. We will work quickly to update any incorrect information and maintain the accuracy of our data, but it would undermine the integrity of our mission to simply remove scores or products.
Q: This product is labeled as “Gluten Free,” but FoodFacts.com shows a Gluten allergen. Why?
A: The FDA standard for labeling a product as "gluten-free" are that it contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This number is safe to consume for many, but not all persons sensitive to gluten. Therefore, unless the company has been evaluated by an organization with higher standards or the manufacturer asserts that it is 100% gluten free, we prefer to alert our more sensitive customers that they may have a reaction to this product. If your products have been evaluated and prove to be 100%, completely gluten free, and you can provide a letter or document to that effect, we can remove the gluten allergen icon. Please note that an allergen icon does not affect the score.
Q: My product is labeled as “MSG Free,” but FoodFacts.com shows an MSG warning. Why?
A: We regard the possible inclusion of free glutamic acids as a potential MSG ingredient, as the free glutamic acids are what may cause adverse reactions in those sensitive to MSG. While the FDA rules regarding labeling and glutamic acid are lax, other governments, such as Canada, recognize the potential issues for certain individuals and prohibits the use of “MSG Free” on any product unless it can be proven that there are no detectable glutamates in the product; this includes natural sources of free glutamates such as tomatoes and grapes (Source: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/guide/ch4e.shtml#a4_3_3)
These can all cause reactions in those sensitive to glutamates, which is why we label it with an MSG icon – so that those sensitive to glutamates will have all relevant information available to them. We consider information from all major health sources, such as research institutes and governmental agencies (both US and foreign), when determining what may or may not be controversial.
Q: My product is labeled as “Trans-Fat Free,” but FoodFacts.com shows a Trans-Fat warning. Why?
A: While manufacturers are required to put trans fat ratings on their food labels, the labeling requirements state that amounts of trans fat less than 0.5 grams per serving can be placed on the food label as 0 grams trans fat. Trans fats are found in hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, so we prefer to alert our members to the potential inclusion of Trans Fat when these ingredients are used, even if the amount is less than 0.5 grams per serving.
If your question was not answered in these FAQs, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org