Use of the SA Food Composition Database (SAFOOD) for food labelling

When can you use the South African Food Composition Database (SAFOOD) for food labelling purposes in terms of the new food labelling regulations?

  • When NO claims are made about a food product, nutrient information from SAFOOD can be utilised under certain conditions.
  • A nutritional information table for the food product is not a mandatory requirement. However, if the manufacturer wishes, he/she may indicate such a table. 
    • In the case of single ingredient agricultural commodities, one of the following is required:
      • Analysis report from a *reputable laboratory; or
      • Information from a national food composition database preferably from South Africa (eg SAFOOD). It is important to check the nutrient values provided in food composition databases for the source of information (eg country of origin) before the information is used for labelling purposes;
      • Where South African information is not available, information from another international reputable Food Composition Database may be used.

When should SAFOOD not be used for food labelling purposes?

  • SAFOOD cannot be utilised for mandatory nutritional information, ie when one or more claims are made. A nutritional information table is a mandatory requirement with an analysis report from a *reputable laboratory.

* “reputable laboratory” means a laboratory which has the required accreditation for each method used for the purpose of nutritional and microbiological information on labels of foodstuffs or nutritional supplements by the South African National Accreditation Services (SANAS) or another recognised international accreditation authority who is a member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and part of the International Laboratory Accreditation Arrangement’.

Source: Department of Health

Visit the Department of Health website for detailed information on the South African Food Labelling Regulations.

See the SAFOOD website: