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Food packaging: what information does it provide?

A wealth of information, including numerous abbreviations, can be found on food packaging. This overview will help you make sense of all the data.

Ingredients are listed in descending order of quantity. This gives you an idea of how much of each ingredient the product contains. The ingredients list for strawberry yoghurt, for example, could be milk, sugar and strawberries. In other words, the yoghurt consists mostly of milk because milk is the first ingredient in the list. Since sugar is listed ahead of strawberries, we also know that the yoghurt contains more sugar than strawberries.
Depending on the manufacturer and product, the packaging may also contain other information (e.g. "contains gluten" or "overconsumption may have a laxative effect"). Information of this kind is intended to protect allergy sufferers and highlight potentially unpleasant side-effects.

Nutritional content
Nutritional labelling is not mandatory in Switzerland, but it is still present on most product packaging. It is often printed in an easy-to-understand table and shows the nutritional values per 100g or 100ml as well as per portion. The recommended daily allowance (also referred to as the "Guided Daily Amount" or GDA) is also shown as a percentage. This is based on a daily intake of 2,000 calories, representing the average daily requirement for an adult. Thanks to the GDA, you can quickly see the nutritional value per portion.

Other information
In addition to the ingredients and nutritional values, product packaging also contains information about the product's country of production, method of preparation, storage, shelf life and disposal.
You can find more information and practical leaflets to download at

Generous contributions to nutritional advice
SWICA has qualified nutritionists and dietary assistants who will analyse your diet and give you advice. It also offers courses to help people develop a conscious and healthy approach to nutrition. We look forward to giving you free no-obligation advice on our helpline 0800 80 90 80. You can access other valuable tips on health and nutrition through the SWICA health app or on our homepage.