Food

Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (5. Net Quantity of Contents Statements)

January 2013

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The document below is available in several foreign language(s). FDA offers these translations as a service to a broad international audience. We hope that you find these translations useful. While the agency has attempted to obtain translations that are as faithful as possible to the English version, we recognize that the translated versions may not be as precise, clear, or complete as the English version. The official version of this document is the English version.

  1. What is the net quantity of contents and how is it expressed?
  2. Where is the net quantity of contents statement placed on the label?
  3. Should the net quantity of contents be stated in both grams and ounces?
  4. Why is it necessary to calculate the area of the PDP?
  5. What is the minimum type size?
  6. What are the conspicuousness and prominence requirements for net quantity statements?
  7. What is included in the net quantity of contents statement?
  8. Is water or other packing medium included in determining the net quantity of contents in a food container?
  9. What is the net quantity of contents for a pressurized can?
  10. What is the policy on using qualifying phrases in net quantity statements?

Any Brand Rice package; rectangle box 8 

1. What is the net quantity of contents and how is it expressed?

Answer: The net quantity of contents (net quantity statement) is the statement on the label which provides the amount of food in the container or package. It must be espressed in weight, measure or numeric count. Generally, if the food is solid, semisolid or viscous, it should be expressed in terms of weight. If the food is a liquid, it should be expressed in fluid measure (e.g., fl oz). 21 CFR 101.105(a)(b)(c)

2. Where is the net quantity of contents statement placed on the label?

Answer: The net quantity statement (net quantity of contents) is placed as a distinct item in the bottom 30 percent of the principal display panel, in lines generally parallel with the base of the container. 21 CFR 101.105(e); 21 CFR 101.105(f)

3. Should the net quantity of contents be stated in both grams and ounces?

Answer: Food labels printed must show the net contents in both metric (grams, kilograms, milliliters, liters) and U.S. Customary System (ounces, pounds, fluid ounces) terms. The metric statement may be placed either before or after the U.S. Customary statement, or above or below it. Each of the following examples is correct (additional examples appear in the regulations):

Net wt 1 lb 8 oz (680g)

Net wt 1 lb 8 oz 680 g

500 ml (1 pt 0.9 fl oz)

Net contents 1 gal (3.79 L)

P.L. 102-329, August 3, 1992; 21 CFR 101.105

4. Why is it necessary to calculate the area of the PDP?

Answer: The area of the PDP (calculated in square inches or square centimeters) determines the minimum type size that is permitted for the net quantity statement (see next question).

Calculate the area of the PDP as follows. The area of a rectangular or square PDP on a carton is the height multiplied by the width (both in inches or both in centimeters).

To calculate the area of the PDP for a cylindrical container, use 40% of the product of the height by the circumference. 21 CFR 101.1  

5. What is the minimum type size?

Answer: For the net quantity statements, the minimum type size is the smallest type size that is permitted based on the space available for labeling on the PDP. Determine the height of the type by measuring the height of the lower case letter "o" or its equivalent when mixed upper and lower case letters are used, or the height of the upper case letters when only upper case letters are used. 21 CFR 101.105(h) and (i)

Minimum Type Size Area of Principal Display Panel
1/16 in. (1.6 mm) 5 sq. in. (32 sq. cm.) or less
1/8 in. (3.2 mm) More than 5 sq. in. (32 sq. cm.) but not more than 25 sq. in. (161 sq. cm.)
3/16 in. (4.8 mm) More than 25 sq. in. (161 sq. cm.) but not more than 100 sq. in. (645 sq. cm.)
1/4 in. (6.4 mm) More than 100 sq. in. (645 sq. cm.) but not more than 400 sq. in. (2580 sq. cm.)
1/2 in. (12.7 mm) Over 400 sq. in. (2580 sq. cm.)

Any Brand Rice package net quantity statement6. What are the conspicuousness and prominence requirements for net quantity statements?

Answer: Choose a print style that is prominent, conspicuous and easy to read. The letters must not be more than three times as high as they are wide, and lettering must contrast sufficiently with the background to be easy to read. Do not crowd the net quantity statement with artwork or other labeling (minimum separation requirements are specified in the regulation). 21 CFR 101.105 and 101.15

7. What is included in the net quantity of contents statement?

Answer: Only the quantity of food in the container or package is stated in the net quantity statement. Do not include the weight of the container, or wrappers and packing materials. To determine the net weight, subtract the average weight of the empty container, lid and any wrappers and packing materials from the average weight of the container when filled with food. 21 CFR 101.105(g)

Filled container weighs 18 oz.
Empty container weighs 2 oz.
Wrapper weighs 1 oz.
Net Weight 15 oz. (425 g)

8. Is water or other packing medium included in determining the net quantity of contents in a food container?

Answer: The water or other liquid added to food in a container is usually included in the net quantity declared on a label.

Beans weigh 9 oz.
Water weighs 4 oz.
Sugar weighs 1 oz.
Net Weight 14 oz. (396 g)

In some cases where the packing medium is normally discarded, the drained weight is given (e.g., olives and mushrooms). 21 CFR 101.105(a)

9. What is the net quantity of contents for a pressurized can?

Answer: The net quantity is the weight or volume of the product that will be delivered from the pressurized container together with the weight or volume of the propellant.

Whipped cream 11.95 oz.
Propellant .05 oz.
Net Weight 12 oz. (340 g)

Net weight equals 2 large ounces. (5g) marked as incorrect. Net weight equals 2 ounces (5g) marked as correct.21 CFR 101.105(g)

10. What is the policy on using qualifying phrases in net quantity statements?

  Answer: Do not use qualifying phrases or terms that exaggerate the amount of food.
  21 CFR 101.105(o)

 


For questions regarding this document, contact the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at 240-402-2371.

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