How to Read Labels: Vitamins and Minerals


Everything from breakfast cereals to fruit drinks is now labeled with the vitamins and minerals they contain.

Only manufacturers should be careful here, because in order to place the appropriate label on the label, such a product must comply with certain standards stipulated by law. And the buyer needs to be able to understand certain wordings printed on the labels in order to be sure of the accuracy of the characteristics of the purchased product.


In order for a manufacturer to label a product that, for example, orange juice is a “source of vitamin C,” it must contain one-sixth of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 60 mg. That is, in order for the manufacturer to provide his juice with this kind of labeling, one serving of juice must contain 10 mg of vitamin C.


read the label

In order for a product to be labeled as a «rich source of vitamin C» on a product label, the product must contain half of the recommended daily intake of the vitamin, i.e., one serving of a fruit drink must contain 30 mg of vitamin C.


In order for a product label to simply list that it contains vitamin C, let alone label it as a “source of vitamin C or a “rich source”, the juice must contain at least 15% of the recommended daily intake. consumption rates, i.e. 9 mg. All vitamins and minerals have different recommended daily allowances, respectively, the standards for the content of vitamins and minerals in products with one label or another will be different in absolute terms


Currently, manufacturers are advised to label a food or drink as “high in” certain vitamins and minerals only if the content in the product is at least twice as high as in the labeled product – «is a source», in other words, only when it provides a third of the recommended daily intake.

Recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals


  • Vitamin A, mcg 800
  • Vitamin V1 (thiamine), mg 1.4
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), mg 1.6
  • Niacin, 18 mg
  • Vitamin B6, mcg 2.0
  • Vitamin B12, mcg 2.0
  • Biotin, mg 0.1
  • Pantothenic acid, mg 6.0
  • Vitamin C, mg 60
  • Vitamin D, mcg 5.0
  • Vitamin E, mcg 10


  • Calcium, mg 800
  • Iodine, mcg 150
  • Iron, mg 14
  • Phosphorus, mg 800
  • Magnesium, 300 mg
  • Zinc, mg 15

Source: Adapted from How to Read Labels by Amanda Ursell

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