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Food labeling machines

Food labeling solutions, processes and regulations

Food labeling machines – application in the food industry

It is mandatory to list ingredients and characteristics on food labels. This information not only protects consumers but also enables them to make an informed decision on their purchase. Food labeling shows, for example, whether the food contains additives, allergens, sugar, fat or salt. This means that buyers can make well-informed choices about the food that they consume. They can assess whether the food is suitable for them based on the label. For 125 years, we have been helping our customers with food labeling machines, as well as labeling of packaging and bottles with high-quality labels and codes that comply with the applicable regulations. An easy-to-use inkjet printer and labeler offer the highest print quality without compromise. Find out more here and apply clearly legible codes at the lowest possible cost – with untrained staff and in adverse environmental conditions.

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Food labeling - application in the food industry

A key process in the food processing chain is the application of food labels and use of food label makers, food label printers etc.. Here it is important to make every cent count: Faulty or poor-quality labels as well as time-consuming labeling processes must be avoided as they lead to unwanted additional costs. There is also the challenge of meeting new legal requirements. Employees are often not trained. Irrespective of the product – from meat to beverages and even honey – food labels must always be clearly legible. The application process should be quick and precise while meeting all legal requirements. Inkjet printers, thermal transfer printers, labeling systems and manual label dispensers are often used in the food labeling process.

  • Thermal transfer printers transfer the required information using ribbons. Heat is used to transfer the colour of the thermal transfer ribbon to the target material. The process is suitable for large batches and offers a precise and consistent print image. Thermal transfer printing is commonly used in the food industry for printing on food labels.
  • Fully automatic labeling systems are the first choice when very large quantities of food need to be labeled in a timely manner. You only need to employ a manageable number of specialists to operate these devices. Many models can be integrated into automated production lines on the hardware and software side. High cycle rates and moderate operating costs are a significant practical advantage of fully automatic labeling systems. It is important to differentiate between automatic label dispensers, which transfer pre-made labels, and fully automatic labeling systems, which print the required label themselves using food label templates. The latter therefore offers a 2-in-1 function.
  • Manual label dispensers and semi-automatic food labeling machines are suitable for very small batches where it would not be worthwhile in terms of time and money to implement automatic processes. Employees use these devices manually as part of the food labeling process.


Once installation is complete, our customers don’t need to contact us because the system runs so smoothly.

Your employees will love our easy-to-use labeling devices.

We never compromise, particularly when it comes to print quality!

Diagraph food labeling machines and solutions

Anyone can intuitively use our inkjet printers, whether they are trained employees or temporary workers. Save costs, increase efficiency and ensure the highest quality with our printing and labeling solutions. Diagraph printing and labeling systems have low operating costs and require minimum maintenance.

  • The IJ4000 large character inkjet printer is characterised by its robust design, making it suitable for challenging environments such as industrial product labeling. One of its main applications is labeling cardboard with product data, codes and logos. This is done at high speed while providing the highest quality possible. Equipped with a central ink supply and capable of print heights of up to 100 mm, the model is ideal for porous surfaces of packaging or load carriers. The easy-to-use IJ4000 consists of three main components: printer, controller and display.
  • The Hitachi UX is a high-speed printer for industrial labeling. This technology is based on the well-established continuous inkjet (CIJ) principle. The device is used for contactless labeling, printing information such as clear text, best-before dates, logos, barcodes, batch numbers and data matrix codes. This makes the UX series ideal for a wide range of standard and special applications. The device has many advantages, excellent reliability and cost efficiency to name but a few.

Food labels: rules and regulations

Food labeling is uniformly regulated in the European Union. Food labels must display mandatory information. The respective regulations govern how products are to be labeled for consumption and what minimum information must be indicated on the packaging. The label provides consumers with relevant information about the ingredients, quality characteristics and properties of the respective food product.

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (FIC Regulation) has been in force since 13 September 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information has applied since 13 December 2016. In principle, the Regulation applies to all EU Member States. However, certain provisions may be supplemented or specified in more detail by Member States.

The EU FIC Regulation governs the legibility of food labels because simply providing information is not sufficient. Customers should be able to easily identify all information. For this reason, mandatory information must be marked in a conspicuous place in such a way as to be easily visible, clearly legible, easy to understand and, where appropriate, indelible. The labeling must not be hidden by any distracting information or pictorial matter. In terms of size, mandatory food information must be printed using a font with a minimum x-height of 1.2 millimetres.

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Mandatory information on food labels

The legislator requires that the following information is included on food labels:

Name of the food/Sale description

Manufacturer information – name or business name and address

Additives/Food additives

List of ingredients for compound ingredients

Date of minimum durability/“Use by” date

Nutrition labeling with at least seven nutritional attributes

Quantity/Net quantity

Lot or batch number


List of ingredients

One of the most important pieces of information for consumers is the name of a food. In the absence of a legal name, a name that clearly and accurately describes the product must be chosen. The Guidelines of the German Food Code (DLMB) issued by the German Food Code Commission (DLMBK) provide help in this respect. The Commission consists of 32 members, including scientists, food supervisory authorities, consumer representatives and food manufacturers/producers. The German Food Code details the generally accepted standards in terms of the composition and names of numerous food products. It should be noted, however, that while of great practical relevance, the German Food Code is not a legal act and its statements constitute expert opinion. The Guidelines are regularly reviewed based on the current state of knowledge.

Food labeling

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (FIC Regulation)legal regulation
Guidelines of the German Food Code (DLMB)recommendations of practical significance

Do not pay more than necessary for your labeling

Are you under a lot of pressure in terms of costs because every cent counts when it comes to labeling?

Do you employ untrained staff in your production facility?

Do you frequently need to meet new legal requirements?

Our mission is to make labeling simple and efficient.

Download the case study free of charge

Read how the IJ4000 large character inkjet printer has transformed labeling for the premium sauce manufacturer Jürgen Langbein

  • Print data comes directly from the ERP system
  • Direct printing is more cost effective than conventional labeling
  • Excellent print image quality
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Download the case study free of charge

Read how Diagraph helped the DMK Group to transform its labeling process with the Hitachi UX

  • High-speed printing
  • Protection class IP65
  • Easy to operate

Book an appointment with an adviser

Whether printing on food products or printing food labels, just follow these three steps to find the right labeling solution for you:



Professional advice tailored to your needs



We install the right labeling solution



Your new system is efficient and easy to operate

Our motto is: “CODING MADE SIMPLE”.
Arrange a consultation right away!

Coding made simple

We are the experts in our field.

We always think one step ahead and solve problems before they arise to make it as easy as possible for our customers to reliably mark their products.

With us, every customer directly reaches a contact person who takes care of their concerns, asks the right questions and thus finds the right answer.

So that everything is simple and straightforward for our customers.


This is what our customers have to say


When it came to labeling on the new production line, a Hitachi
printer was a no-brainer as we have only ever had good experiences
with these.

Matthias Säfken, Maintenance Team Leader, DMK Edewecht site


Production output has increased because there is less printer-related downtime.

I would definitely recommend Diagraph and the Allen NGT series to other packaging companies.

Nigel Robertshaw, Technical and Site Manager at Country Products, Tockwith, Yorkshire


We are a premium soup manufacturer, so quality is our top priority.

We have always been impressed with Diagraph’s quality of service and the new labeling systems are exactly to my taste.

Viktor Schäfer, Head of Labeling, Jürgen Langbein, Kaltenkirchen


Still have questions? You can find more detailed information here.

What are the regulations for food labels and labeling of food products?

Food labels must comply with Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (FIC Regulation), as described above. This sets out the mandatory information that must be provided on prepacked food in the European Union in a comprehensive, precise and largely product-independent manner. In addition, the Regulation defines mandatory information for food supplied through distance selling. This includes mandatory information provided for sales conducted online or via mail order before the purchase is concluded.

Are there any specific rules for certain food products?

Yes, in fact there is a whole range of special requirements alongside the FIC Regulation. These product-specific regulations apply to certain product areas respectively. Examples include the German Jam Ordinance (KonfV), the German Milk Products Ordinance (MilchErzV), information on imitation food such as imitation cheese, warnings for certain ingredients (e.g. high caffeine content), the alcoholic strength for beverages containing more than 1.2% by volume of alcohol or the mandatory freezing date for meat, meat products and unprocessed fishery products. The identification mark for meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, etc. also ensures that the manufacturer of these animal products is known. Furthermore, European and national food additive legislation must be followed. Organic food also has its own set of rules – this must be taken into account in addition to general labeling requirements.

What are the different options for labeling food?/Which types of printer can be used?

There are several options for printing on food products. Inkjet printers, thermal transfer printers and label dispensers/labelling systems for attaching labels to food are primarily used in the food industry. However, manual labeling machines are also used, for example in retail. Employees operate these by hand and so they are best suited to very small batches because these quantities are manageable and can be processed more quickly and easily by hand.

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ITW Diagraph GmbH

Friedrich-Bergius-Ring 30

97076 Würzburg


Tel. +49 931 25076 0

Fax +49 931 25076 50

[email protected]


Tel. +49 931 25076 911

[email protected]

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