ITOCHU Announces Launch of Label+ Food Labeling Check Service

- Stepping into the market for Internet-based food labeling support services -

September 14, 2015

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU Interactive Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masazumi Tezuka, President; hereinafter “ITOCHU Interactive”), a subsidiary of ITOCHU, will launch the Label+ online service (hereinafter “the Service”) to support proper food labeling under the supervision of experts in food labeling and quality management.

While public interest in food labeling is growing as food safety and reassurance gather attention, food incidents involving the inaccurate labeling of ingredients continue to occur. The possible causes of these incidents include a lack of basic knowledge and awareness of food labeling, a shortage of dedicated staff familiar with regulations related to food labeling, and the heavy burden of outsourcing work to outside bodies in terms of distance, time, and expenses. These factors not only weigh down management, but also present obstacles to understanding and creating accurate food labels.
The Service is the industry’s first food labeling support service in which food business operators and online shop operators, who require sound knowledge of food labeling regulations and expertise in food quality management, may consult and submit inquiries to dedicate personnel specializing in food labeling online.
Taking full advantage of its strength in knowledge of the Internet domain, ITOCHU Interactive will proactively propose the Service in its new business domain of support for food related operators.
The Service will be offered in collaboration with BML Food Science Solutions, Inc., a general consulting firm on food hygiene management, as well as with Label Bank Co., Ltd., a specialist in food labeling. The Service will draw upon the expertise of these two firms.

Service Overview

Service features

  1. A check on the names and ingredients indicated on food labels is completed online, eliminating the need for paper-based procedures.
  2. The predictive conversion and description check functions supported by the food ingredient database ensure the ease of entries.
  3. Support by reassurance system that ensures the check is carried out by staff with specialized knowledge.

Process flow until the use of the Service

  1. The user signs up for Service membership on the website, and then enters the name and ingredients of a particular product.
  2. The Service’s dedicated staff check the data entered.
  3. Communication with and remarks made by the dedicated staff are displayed on the user’s private page.
  4. The dedicated staff double check the modified data, and the process is considered to be completed if no problems are found.
  5. After check is complete, the data may be output in the form of printable text data.

Samples of the online screen


Future developments

ITOCHU will push ahead with its business for supporting food-related businesses with the use of the Internet. To this end, it will work to comply with the new Food Labeling Act that took effect in April 2015 and make the system capable of covering inbound (imported) and outbound (exported) items for which the market is expected to grow in the future. In addition to these efforts, it will add different functions to the food ingredient database, such as the provision of display features for recommending ingredients and foreign language translation functions.

Partner companies

BML Food Science Solutions, Inc.

A general consulting company that handles food microbial tests, physicochemical inspections, intestinal bacteria inspections, product inspections, kitchen inspections in food serving businesses, food factory auditing, hygiene and quality management system development, and system construction support.

Label Bank Co., Ltd.

A company that engages extensively in services related to food labeling, including the creation of food labels, the construction of a database for checking purposes, creation and inspection of written standards on ingredient and food products, and English translation support.

ITOCHU Interactive

Driven by the slogan of Marketing and Technology for All, ITOCHU Interactive is a revolutionary service provider in the electronics sector that makes efforts on a daily basis to create new businesses by combining the business expertise of a sogo shosha with the technical expertise and creativity of an IT firm.