The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the dietary supplement industry’s leading trade association, released recommended guidelines for calculating protein content on dietary supplement and functional food products labels. The guidelines identify best practices that will allow consumers to better identify the amount of added protein in these products.
The newly adopted recommendations provide manufacturers and marketers with a method to calculate the amount of protein to be declared in nutrition labeling and advise that these calculations should only include proteins that, by definition, consist of a chain of amino acids connected by peptide bonds. Although FDA’s labeling regulations do not expressly prohibit the inclusion of non-protein nitrogen-containing substances in the calculations, CRN’s recommended guidelines advise that these substances not be counted toward total protein content on product labels.
“Health-conscious consumers are becoming more aware about adding protein to their diets, and CRN’s members want to be sure their customers have accurate information about actual protein content so they can make smarter decisions and compare products,” noted Steve Mister, CRN’s president and CEO. “These new guidelines assure that other nitrogen-containing ingredients don’t get included in the protein count.”
The guidelines are consistent with those issued earlier this month by the American Herbal Products Association. The two trade associations worked cooperatively in developing their respective programs to provide consistency between the guidelines, making it easier for more companies in the industry to voluntarily adhere to the recommendations.
“Many companies already abide by the best practices put forth in CRN’s guidelines for protein labeling,” said Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. “CRN’s codification of these voluntary guidelines provides all companies with the information they need to give their customers clear, consistent label information about their products. In addition, the guidelines demonstrate our industry’s collaborative, proactive efforts to best serve consumers.”
The protein guidelines were developed through a CRN Task Force and ratified by the CRN Board of Directors on April 24. CRN recommends its members comply with these guidelines for new product labels put into the marketplace as soon as practical, but no later than 12 months from that date.
The CRN Guidelines for Labeling of Protein in Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods is one of several voluntary guidelines the association has developed for industry, including guidelines on caffeine labeling, enzyme-containing dietary supplement products, dosage and labeling recommendations, CRN’s Code of Ethics and more.