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Regulatory nutrient reference values

(April 2018)

Nutrient reference values (NRVs) indicate the daily amount of nutrients (energy, macro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals) required for good health, as well as an upper safe level of nutrient intake. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the New Zealand Ministry of Health released a comprehensive set of NRVs for Australia and New Zealand in 2006. A further update of reference values for sodium and fluoride was published in 2017.

The 2006 NRVs replaced the previous Recommended Dietary Intakes for Use in Australia (RDIs) which were published in 1991 and adopted by New Zealand. These RDIs together with other government recommendations, and certain United States ESADDIs (Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intakes) (1989) are currently used as the basis for the regulatory NRVs in the Code. These regulatory NRVs are used in the Code to:

  • set minimum criteria for claims about the vitamin or mineral content of a food e.g. a food must contain at least 10% of the regulatory RDI or ESADDI per serving to make a claim that a certain vitamin or mineral is present in a food
  • guide the voluntary addition of vitamin and minerals to food by setting minimum and maximum amounts of a certain vitamin or mineral per serving that can be claimed
  • set requirements about the labelling of nutrient content of a food to help consumers make informed choices e.g. the percentage RDI, ESADDI or daily intake (DI) of a nutrient contained in a serving of a particular food.

A consultation paper on the use of the 2006 NRVs as the basis of a revision of the current regulatory NRVs in the Code was released in 2010.  A report summarising submitter responses is also available.

This work was deferred to await further work by other parts of government on the NHMRC/NZ Ministry of Health NRVs.

FSANZ is now working on a proposal to review and update the regulatory nutrients reference values in the Code based on the 2006/2017 NRVs.

More information

Page last updated 6 December 2023