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100% Juice 59 servings 1 tsp per serving (5ml) Ingredients: Organic Lemon Juice

Calories zero, everything is zero on the nutrition facts and nothing mentioning sugar.

Is only organic maple syrup required to state the sugar content but not organic lemon juice? Is this due to a rounding rule (arbitrary power to select serving size?) or some other technicality / what should the nutrition facts say to more accurately represent the reality of what is in this bottle of lemon juice?

The reason I mentioned the maple syrup is because I thought it was inconsistent that a 100% organic maple syrup manufacturer is now forced by the FDA to include the natural sugar as added sugar but here I am holding a bottle of organic lemon juice with zero calories and sugar (maybe it really is zero?)

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  • Can you explain what you think the relevance of the food being organic is?
    – Sneftel
    Dec 25, 2022 at 20:00
  • I find your question quite confusing. Organic has nothing to do with sugar content. Maple syrup has nothing to do with lemon juice, especially in terms of sugar content. Also, I don't know what you mean by maple syrup manufacturers being "forced" to include "natural sugar as added sugar", but this would be irrelevant anyway, because your question is about nutrition labels, and nutrition labels only list total sugar, regardless of it being added or not.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 26, 2022 at 11:51
  • @Sneftel I was debating uploading a picture of the food label but wanted the question to be self contained since I was able to describe it all in text. Organic is probably irrelevant to the question but that is just what it is called on the label and ingredients.
    – CodeCamper
    Dec 27, 2022 at 17:28
  • @rumtscho I only included organic because that is what it is called on the label. I mentioned the syrup because I have organic syrup that clearly contains sugar and it is also under "added sugar" on the label even though no sugar is actually added, yet here I have organic lemon juice that has 0 sugar which doesn't seem possible.
    – CodeCamper
    Dec 27, 2022 at 17:29

2 Answers 2

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According to the USDA, one teaspoon of lemon juice has around 1 calorie and .1 grams of sugar. FDA regulations allow listing anything under 5 calories per serving as "zero calories" and less than .5 grams of sugar as "sugar free". So the reason you see no calories or sugar listed is that the serving size is so small (1 tsp compared to 1 cup for other fruit juices) that the amount of sugar in one serving is negligible.

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  • So in this case the entire organic lemon juice bottle should have about 59 calories and 5.9 grams of sugar according to the USDA number. But theoretically it could be 0.49 grams per serving of sugar and the entire bottle could have 28 grams of sugar and yet be labeled sugar free, I could drink this bottle fairly quickly. What prevents manufacturers from just artificially selecting a small serving size to call their products sugar free? (this kind of reminds me of how some products tell you the caffeine content and some do not)
    – CodeCamper
    Dec 27, 2022 at 17:35
  • There are regulations detailing what the serving size should be, see fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/… . The serving size for fruit juices as a "beverage" is 8 fl. oz., while serving size for fruit juices "primarily used as an ingredient", like lemon juice, is 50g.
    – Esther
    Dec 27, 2022 at 20:02
  • @Esther small point, but 50 grams of lemon juice would be about 48 mL (it’s mostly water after all). OP said the serving size is 5 mL.
    – Damila
    Dec 28, 2022 at 19:39
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Just checking from wikipedia lemons have around 2.5g of sugar per 100g and 121 kJ or 29 kcal per 100g. I assume the numbers for lemon juice are quite similar.

This is quite low and lemon juice is usually consumed in small quantities because it is more used like a spice (as opposed to other fruit juices which are just drank as is). As Esther noted in her answer, USDA regulations allow rounding these small numbers to zero if the quantities per serving are sufficiently small which is the case here.

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