Understand the INCO Regulation in 2 Minutes

Find out everything you need to know about the INCO regulation

Published on 08/07/2021Sébastien Vassaux

Product labeling is a key issue for the safety and health of your consumers. The INCO regulation allows to modernize the labelling of food items at the level of all European countries and to facilitate the understanding of the consumers.

The INCO regulation and its obligations

The Regulation n°1169/2011 also called INCO, concerns the information of consumers on food items. Thanks to this regulation, the consumer must be able to choose their food in full transparency on the composition of products.

This regulation includes new obligations:

  • mention of the presence of allergens in the list of ingredients in bold or italics.
  • mention of the origin or provenance for meats (fresh and frozen), honey, olive oil and fresh fruits and vegetables
  • compulsory typography with a minimum font size of 1.2 mm (with exception for packages with a surface of less than 80 cm², the size is reduced to 0.9 mm) to improve the visibility of the label
  • mention of the presence of nano-ingredients for pre-packaged products

From December 2016, the regulation also made the nutrition declaration in the form of a table mandatory to allow consumers to compare products.

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The list of ingredients and mandatory mentions

All the components that participate in the manufacturing of the recipe and that are present in the final product must be included in the list of ingredients. To classify the ingredients in the list, they are defined in ascending order according to their weight or volume.

Note that this list is not mandatory for cheeses, butter, fruits and vegetables.

Mandatory mentions

  • Certain mandatory information must appear on the pre-packaging or on a label attached to the product
  • the name of the food item
  • the list of ingredients
  • any ingredient causing allergies or intolerances used in the manufacture or preparation of a food item
  • preparation of a food item and that is still present in the finished product, even in a modified form
  • the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients
  • the net quantity of the food items
  • the date of minimum durability or the use-by date
  • the particular conditions of conservation and/or use
  • the name or business name and address of the food business operator
  • the country of origin or place of provenance when provided
  • instructions for use, where their absence would make it difficult to use the food properly
  • for beverages with more than 1.2% alcohol by volume, the actual alcoholic strength by volume
  • a nutritional declaration

Optimize your hygiene and traceability

INCO label, Health Control Plan, HACCP...
Discover Melba