A Clean Label Definition

A definition of clean product labelling or “clean label” for food. How can I find out for myself whether my product meets all the requirements for clean labelling? Experts from BIOGRUND have put together a definition.

Background to the “Clean Label” issue

Consumers want foods and food supplements whose lists of ingredients are understandable, easy to read and which they can interpret for themselves. It is therefore important that the consumer is able to pronounce all the ingredients in the ingredient list and knows where they come from. Of course, a consumer also feels much better knowing that, for example, he is consuming pea starch instead of modified starch.

Clean labelling

You wonder if the ingredient list of your product is “Clean Label”? If you can answer all three of the following questions with “Yes”, then your product most likely meets the requirements consumers have for a clean product label:

1. Can the consumer pronounce the name of the ingredients or excipients?
Example: Polyvinylpyrrolidone is very difficult for the consumer to pronounce because the name is very long. Guar gum, on the other hand, is much shorter and therefore easier to pronounce.

2. Can the customer see the origin of the ingredient or excipient?
Example: rice extract mixture – this formulation makes it possible for the consumer to establish a reference to the origin of the ingredient.

3. Does the consumer feel better about himself if he knows which ingredient or excipient he is consuming?
Example: If the consumer reads “rice extract mixture” he may feel much better than if he reads “magnesium stearate”. One should always ask oneself which formulation is more in line with the consumer’s wishes.


In order to meet the consumer’s clean label requirements, unwanted ingredients must be avoided in new formulations and replaced or exchanged in existing formulations. Since certain ingredients cannot simply be deleted without a loss of quality, the challenge here is to find an equivalent “clean” substitute for these ingredients.
Through labelling on the packaging such as “free from synthetic dyes”, BIO seals or “contains no nanoparticles” the consumer becomes aware of the Clean-Label ingredient list, reads it and understands it. Such a label is currently available on the market in various forms, as there are no legal regulations yet.

This definition is based on experience and research by BIOGRUND (Member of the Clean Label Alliance).

More on Biogrund

You might also like