Fruit Bar with Unsupported Antioxidant Claims

A dried fruit and nut bar has the word “antioxidant” on the front label. The nutrition panel shows 0% DV for vitamins A and C. 

 

Another year, another bushel of unsubstantiated antioxidant claims. Having the word “antioxidant” on the label is considered an “implied claim” that the product is at least a “good source of antioxidants,” even if no amount/level is specified. The lowest level of antioxidants eligible for use of a nutrient claim is 10% of the Daily Value... but such claims can only be used for nutrients that have an established DV for food labeling purposes (i.e., nutrients that are either required on the Nutrition Facts label or are permitted to be displayed voluntarily): vitamins A, C and E, and the mineral selenium. If, as with this fruit & nut bar, the nutrition panel does not show at least 10% DV of one of those nutrients, the product may not make antioxidant claims, or mention the word. Otherwise, we are in the realm of false advertising (FTC) and mislabeling (FDA).

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