The ingredient list shows all the ingredients in a packaged food.
Ingredients are listed in order of weight, beginning with the ingredient that weighs the most and ending with the ingredient that weighs the least. This means that a food contains more of the ingredients found at the beginning of the list, and less of the ingredients at the end of the list.
Example: The ingredient list below is for bran cereal. The ingredient that is present in the largest amount is whole wheat, and the ingredient present in the smallest amount is minerals.
Ingredients: Whole wheat, wheat bran, sugar/glucose-fructose, salt, malt (corn flour, malted barley), vitamins (thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, d-calcium pantothenate), minerals (iron, zinc oxide).
Did you know?
Reading the ingredient list is both important and useful. It can help you:
- Check if a food product has a certain ingredient.
- Avoid ingredients in case of a food allergy or intolerance.
Ingredients with many names
Sometimes nutrients like saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar appear on ingredient lists under many different names. Here's a list of the most commonly used terms.
Tip: A word ending in "ose" is usually sugar.
For more information
- Food labels interactive tools
- Use the Nutrition Facts table
- Interactive tool: nutrition label
- Interactive tool: nutrition label quiz
- Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide
- Date modified: