How to Read a Spice Label

When it comes to buying food products, transparency is key. Consumers value knowing what is in the foods they purchase. Unlike packaged meals or snacks, spices are products that consumers think they know exactly what they are getting. After all, if you are purchasing “Garlic Powder” you would assume that the only ingredient in the product would be garlic. The thing is, commonly you will find many spice brands will put “Spices” as a part of their ingredients list, but what does that entail?

Learn more about how to properly read and understand what your spice label is telling you.

Spice Label Locations

Spice jar labels are on the backside of the bottles. They are mandatory in the U.S. and should include a list of ingredients and nutrition facts about the spices. If the spices have any nutritional value or calories, the nutrition label will have that information listed out. The nutrition label will spell those details out along with any facts like the vitamins that the spice provides. There is also a servings size category that is important to look out for. If the ingredients have calories or other nutrition facts, they will be based on one serving.

Daily Value

Each label has a % Daily Value (%DV) for each nutrient in a serving of the food. Your spices may or may not have any %DV depending on what is in them. The daily value percentage is there to show you how specific nutrients in a serving contribute to a total daily diet. The numbers are based on a generalized plan and are not specific. If you have any specific nutrient needs or problems, you will want to talk to your doctor about your specific nutritional needs. The %DV also helps you understand if one serving has a high or low amount of a nutrient. On average, 5% DV or less is considered low and 20% DV or more is considered high.

Spice Label Ingredients

Why look at the spice ingredients of a bottle of spice? The primary reason is to ensure that there are no mystery ingredients or excess ingredients – like added salt or sugar. If you are trying to reduce the sodium in your diet, you want to make sure that your spice doesn’t have any extra salt in it.

Some spice companies do not list all the ingredients in some of their spice mixtures. To avoid brands that aren’t explicit about what spices are in their products, avoid ingredient lists that list “other spices.” Adding this generic term likely means the seasoning has been diluted with less expensive ingredients.

Single Spices

Some spice bottles won’t have a list of ingredients because they are single spices. If your bottle of cumin only has cumin with no added spices or fillers, it won’t have an ingredients list. If you buy a single spice bottle and it has an ingredient list, look carefully at it to see what else is in there. You don’t want any artificial ingredients or mystery ingredients with your spice.

All-Natural and Organic

You also want to check the ingredients because the front of bottles could add terms that really don’t make a difference but sound nice. If a bottle says “All Natural,” that just means that the manufacturer worked with a natural source at one point.  You still want to check the ingredients list. The term “Organic” is on many products today. You still want to check the ingredients because organic salt is still salt. If you are watching your intake of salt, whether it is organic or not doesn’t really matter to you.

Spice Up Responsibly

The joy of cooking is finding that perfect spice combination for any dish. You always see chefs trying their dishes as they cook is to find the right balance of spices. The right balance comes from having the right ingredients and you want your spices to perform for you each time. Spice labels are there to help you make sure you pick top-quality spices that will last.

Don’t just grab a bottle and throw it in your cart. Make sure your spice bottle has exactly what you want in it. That way you can trust the spice to enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes. Our passion is bringing the flavors of the world to your home. Check out our special spices made for you.