Preparing Your Balanced Pantry Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Consumers

What do “Daily Value” (DV) and “Percent Daily Value” (%DV) mean on the food label?

The Daily Value (DV) on the food label is a generic term developed by FDA to reflect different sets of reference values. The DVs are based on two sets of reference values: 1) Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and 2) Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs). DRVs apply to total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sodium, potassium, and protein. RDIs apply to vitamins and minerals, protein for children less than four years of age, and for pregnant women and lactating women. To try and limit confusion and avoid having to list both “%DRV” and “%RDI” on food labels, FDA developed this single term, DV. The %DV on the food label is the amount of a nutrient in one serving of a product as a percentage of the daily recommended intake level for that nutrient.

What is ``Xanthan Gum``?

If you’ve looked at the Ingredients statement on a food label recently, you’ve probably seen an ingredient called “Xanthan gum.” Xanthan gum is a plant-based polysaccharide (carbohydrate made of sugar molecules bonded together) used to thicken and stabilize foods. To create Xanthan gum, a gel is formed by a bacterium fermenting on a soy, wheat, dairy or corn-based sugar. After purification with isopropyl alcohol the gel is then dried and milled. The resulting food additive is a powder substance used in a wide-range of foods including baked goods (including gluten-free baked products), creamy condiments (mayonnaise and salad dressing), dairy (pudding, ice cream, yogurt) and processed meat. Since the source of the sugar used in fermentation is typically soy, wheat, dairy or corn consumers with allergies to any of these ingredients should avoid products labeled with Xanthan gum. It is found on food labels as “Xanthan gum.”

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