The true meaning of symbols of food labels

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The true meaning of symbols of food labels


Everyday food are produced whose packaging and labels contain symbols that explain some characteristics. But are we really in able to understand the informations? Certainly the answer is positive for the symbols most known, while it’s negative for those less known. Here we provide an explanation of these symbols so everyone can be read correctly the informations on the labels. Such symbols are divided in three categories: general, certifications and environmental.

  • Hourglass
    When you find a hourglass keep in mind that represent the real expiry date of product that you bought. It’s a new symbol that we will find more and more frequently, over that date don’t consume that food.
  • Estimated symbol
    The “e” means quantité estimée and certify that the measurement of weight and volume of product happened according to the standards established by European Union. Basically indicates that the real weight of product may vary of minimum amount but still remaining within the limits set by law.
  • Barcode
    Was born to improve logistics and to optimize the process of recessed, but may seems that to the consumer says nothing. What must be know is: in some formats the first three digits indicate the country of production of product, the next four indicate the address of producer or supplier, the five below indicate the type of product, while the last number has a function of verification.




  • Quick Response Code
    The QR code allows quickly to obtain a great amount of information of the product. If you approach the camera of your smartphone to QR code will pop up a link contains the informations that the producers want to know.
  • Kosher o Kasher
    The circled “U” was born like a symbol indicating a food for a Jewish consumer but in fact is addresses to all. For example in USA, these products are mainly sold between non Jewish, for the trust in the check. These food conforms to the right of Kasheruth and is classified in three rank: meat based, milk based and without milk and meat.
  • Halal
    The term associated to this symbol is arabian and means permission. All products which brings this symbol can be used or eaten, in the case of aliment, by muslim.
  • Celiac disease
    An crossed ear of wheat means that the product is suitable for a celiac consumer, the Italian Celiac Association has recorded this symbol. The suitability is given by a series of checks carried out on supply chain and on product.
  • Vegan
    This symbol isn’t official yet, there is any european rule, means that what we bought is vegan.
  • Vegetarian nutrition
    Some foods and products have this mark to certify the absence of ingredients or raw material of animal origin.
  • Organic farming-CE
    Since 2010 all organic pre-packaged foodstuffs in European Union have this mark, to guarantee the certainty about origins and quality.
  • MSC Certification
    As regards fishery products there is a mark that certifies origins by fishing areas conform to sustainability criteria and ruled thought advanced management programs.
  • Glass and fork
    A glass and a fork mean that the product is destined for food contact even if there isn’t yet contact with food. This symbol is situated in the packaging of disposable cutlery, plates and glasses.
  • Recycling symbol
    Three arrows that forming a Möbius strip represent an international recycling symbol. We find it on packaging of paper, cardboard and cellulose. It means that the product is recyclable and that the packaging is composed by recycled material.
  • Resin Identification
    Three strict arrows chasing each other accompanied by a number or by a acronym there are in plastic packaging and mean the type of plastic used.
  • The tidy man
    This symbol means that the packaging of product doesn’t recyclable so must be goes out on undifferentiated.
  • Green dot
    Green dot means, above all in North Europe and in Germany, that the producer joins to consortia that organize the recovery and the recycling of packaging.
  • The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
    It identifies the products that contain wood from forests managed according to ambiental, social and economics standard approved by Forest Stewardship Council®.

You can find each of these symbols with another one in the packaging, of different materials, of different foodstuffs. With Eidos printing system is possible to print on label and film all informations that the producer want to know to the consumers respecting in this way the European and International standard in the matter.