Voluntary food information

Voluntary food information

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 provides that, in addition to the mandatory food information, other food information can be provided on a voluntary basis. Voluntary food information shall not mislead the consumer as referred to in Article 7 on fair information practices, shall not be ambiguous or confusing for the consumer and shall, where appropriate, be based on the relevant scientific data (Article 36).

Implementing acts are to be adopted by the Commission in relation to the following voluntary food information:

  • Possible and unintentional presence in food of substances or products causing allergies or intolerances;
  • Suitability of a food for vegetarians or vegans;
  • The indication of reference intakes for specific population groups in addition to the reference intakes set out in Annex XIII of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011;
  • Information on the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food.

Concerning the information on the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food, the Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014 of 30 July 2014 on the requirements for the provision of information to consumers on the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food has been adopted.

This Implementing Regulation sets out the specific conditions under which foods may be labelled as "gluten-free" or "very-low gluten", as "suitable for people intolerant to gluten/coeliacs" and as "specifically formulated for people intolerant to gluten/coeliacs". Conditions on the latter statement, in particular, ensure that gluten-intolerant consumers are informed of the difference between foods that are naturally free of gluten and products that are specially formulated for them.