Origin of ingredient and obligation of QUID? The lawyer Dario Dongo answers

Dear Dario good morning,

our company has undergone an administrative dispute for not having indicated the QUID of an ingredient of which we have limited ourselves to indicating the origin, indeed the provenance since it is a cereal. What do you think?

Thanks, Melania

The lawyer Dario Dongo, Ph.D. in European food law, answers

Dear Melania good morning,

the indication of origin or provenance of ingredients - in labeling and advertising of food products - has been promoted with emphasis, in the last two decades, at national and European level. The Food Information Regulation in fact, it has also extended its mandatory nature, for the generality of foods, to the occurrence of certain conditions. (1)

quid, Quantitative Ingredient Declaration

The indication the quantity of the ingredient on the label is prescribed, as we have seen, in relation to the individual ingredients that:

a) appear in the name of the food (e.g. ravioli with ricotta and spinach) or are generally associated with this name (e.g. potatoes - gnocchi), or

b) are highlighted on the labeling by words, images or a graphic representation (e.g. 'with speck'), or

c) they are essential to characterize a food and distinguish it from products with which it could be confused due to its denomination or appearance. (2)

QUID, meaning and exemptions

The European Commission - in the guidelines on the application of QUID - has in turn indicated that the obligation to indicate the QUID therefore applies'only if two conditions are cumulatively fulfilled: the ingredient or category of ingredients must be essential

- to characterize the food, e

- to distinguish it from products with which it could be confused due to its denomination or appearance'. (3)

Ingredient origin and QUID

The origin o origin of an ingredient - in both cases of mandatory and voluntary indication on the label - meets the consumer's expectations on the territorial integrity of a production chain.

The choice of the consumer is therefore associated with a value - eg. bread, pasta, 100% tomato preserves Made in Italy - regardless of its quantity in the finished product.

Confirming of this assumption it is noted as the reg. UE 2018/775 - in prescribing to indicate the different origin or provenance of the primary ingredient, where different from themade inindicated - does not refer in any way to the obligation to indicate the QUID.

Provisional conclusions

The news the 'nationality' or 'regionality' of one or more ingredients is not in itself sufficient, in the opinion of the writer, to trigger the obligation to indicate the quantity. Without prejudice to the hypothesis in which the product contains the same ingredient with different origins or provenance and is proud of one or more of them. (4)

The other way around, displaying the quantity of an ingredient with the justification of having indicated its origin or provenance could constitute an unfair information practice. (5) Insofar as this information suggests that the product possesses particular characteristics, when they are instead common to all products of the same category.




(1) Origin of raw materials, reg. EU 2018/775. The lawyer Dario Dongo answers. DO (Food and Agriculture Requirements). 5.9.19/XNUMX/XNUMX,

(2) EU Reg. 1169/11, articles 9.1.d, 22. V. Dario Dongo. Ingredient List, ABC. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 6.3.18/XNUMX/XNUMX,

(3) Communication from the Commission on the application of the ingredient quantity declaration (QUID) principle. 2017 / C 393/05. See points 2.9 and 2.14. https://bit.ly/3zf9AFX

(4) De Cecco pasta labels and advertising, for example, boast the presence of grains from Italy, California and Arizona. In this case, the consumer has a reasonable expectation of more transparent and precise information, as well as truthful. See article 'Filippo Antonio De Cecco, maxi-fraud on the origin of wheat. The word to the GIP of Chieti'. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 8.4.21/XNUMX/XNUMX,

(5) In violation of reg. EU 1169/2011, art. 7.1.c

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