Food composition and quality claims
"Light" as a nutrient content claim
The use of "light" or "lite" as a nutrient content claim is restricted to products that meet certain criteria with respect to fat or energy content. See also "Light" Claims outlined in Nutrient Content Claims.
The term "light" is also permitted when it refers to a product's sensory characteristics (e.g., light in colour, taste, flavour etc.). In this case, the sensory characteristic to which the term refers must accompany the claim.
The sensory characteristic must be shown adjacent to the most prominent light statement or claim (e.g., "light tasting', 'lite coloured'), without any intervening printed, written or graphic material, in letters of at least the same size and prominence as the most prominent claim. A claim on the principal display panel is considered to be more prominent than a claim elsewhere on the label.
Similar criteria apply when the sensory characteristic "light" is used in an advertisement. In print advertising and in the visual portion of a television ad, the requirements are the same as those for a label, with the additional stipulation that the sensory characteristic must appear concurrently and for the same amount of time as the "light" claim for television ads. For radio and the audio portion of television advertisements, the sensory characteristic must be stated either immediately before or immediately after the "light" claim.
Other light claims
Other uses of the term "light" are specifically provided for in the Food and Drug Regulations. These are not considered nutrient content claims and are also not required to be accompanied by a sensory characteristic. These include:
- Representations provided for by section 273 and set out in column 3 of Schedule 7 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (e.g., "light syrup") [B.01.502(2)(b), FDR]
- The representation "light salted" with respect to fish [262(1)(i)(ii), SFCR; B.01.502(2)(k), FDR]
- "Light beer" and "Light Wine" referring to the alcoholic content [B.01.502(2)(j), FDR]
- Light as a colour designation for rum [B.01.513(2), FDR]
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