Understand Japanese food labels

You don't have a lot of experience in the Japanese language, but you need to understand the labels on the products and foods you buy? In this article, we will teach you how to translate and understand Japanese labels, their nutritional information, ingredients, etc.

To keep things simple, our partner Santana made a video showing the basics of food labels. You can watch the video, and then we have a long table with all the information for you to understand the labels.

Words on food labels

It may be necessary for you to have a basic knowledge of nihongo, we have prepared this table with all the vocabulary found on food labels.

Japanese  START Romaji Portuguese Notes / Where to find
種類別名称 しゅるいべつめいしょう shuruibetsumeishou Product type, classification At the beginning of a tag
名称 めいしょう meishou Name, product type at the beginning of the tag
種類別 しゅるいべつ shuruibetsu Classification -
種類 しゅるい shurui Type / Category 種類 + 別 means rank
商品名 しょうひんめい shouhinmei Product name at the beginning of the tag
品名 ひんめい hinmei Product name at the beginning of the tag
商品 しょうひん shouhin goods / belonging 商品 + 名 means product/brand
原材料名 げんざいりょうめい genzairyoumei       Ingredients Somewhere right after "名称" or "種類別"
内容量 ないようりょう naiyouryou The amount Under 原材料名, but sometimes elsewhere
内容 ないよう naiyou Contents /
内容+量 is the amount
of that item, substantiates.
りょう ryou The amount 内容+量 is the amount
of that item, substantiates.
賞味期限 しょうみきげん shoumikigen Expiration date
消費期限 しょうひきげん shouhikigen Expiration date
保存方法 ほぞんほうほう hozonhouhou Preservation method / After opening Listed after the above information.
保存 ほぞん hozon Preservation
方法 ほうほう houhou Method
主要栄養成分 しゅようえいようせいぶん shuyoueiyouseibun The main nutritional components Listed at the top of the Nutrition Facts section
栄養成分 えいようせいぶん eiyouseibun Nutritional information
栄養成分表示 えいようせいぶんひょうじ eiyouseibunhyouji Nutritional information
主要 しゅよう shuyou main / main
栄養 えいよう hey Nutrition
成分 せいぶん seibun Ingredients
表示 ひょうじ hyouji list / chart
産地 さんち sanchi Production center / growth area / origin Used to indicate origin of item.
原産国名 げんさんこくめい gensankokumei Country of origin Found in imported products.
国産 こくさん kokusan Domestic product Used in domestic products
さん san Origin
加工年月日 かこうねんがっぴ kakounengappi Processing/manufacturing date In seafood/meat/things that are cut
養殖 ようしょく youshoku Aquaculture / Fish You will see it in fish and seafood
解凍 かいとう kaitou Thawed or previously frozen often seen in
seafood or meat label
加熱用 かねつよう kanetsuyou Add heat (cooking before eating) Seafood / meat
刺身用 さしみよう sashimiyou Can be used for sashimi Seafood / meat
生食用 なましょくよう namashokuyou Can be eaten raw/fresh Seafood / meat
味付 あじつけ ajitsuke tempered Seafood / meat
地鶏 じどり jidori Open air In chickens and poultry
当たり あたり atari "by" or "for" 1箱 (100g) 当たり (100g per box)
はこ hako Box 1 box (100g) per
パック - pakku Package 1 パック (100ml) 当たり (100ml per pack)
ーほん, ーぼん, ーぽん -hon, -bon, -pon Counter for cylinders and long objects 1 book (53g) per unit
ok general accountant 1 box (100g) per

Vocabulary of Nutritional Information

The following information is listed under the "Nutrition Facts Table" or "Nutrition Facts". It usually mentions calories and basic nutrients. Occasionally, various vitamins and minerals will be listed.

Japanese START Romaji Portuguese Grades
エネルギー - enerugii energy or calories
熱量 ねつりょう netsuryou calories
たんぱく質 たんぱくしつ tanpakushitsu Protein Or "タンパク質" or "たん白質"
炭水化物 たんすいかぶつ tansuikabutsu Carbohydrates / Carbohydrates
ナトリウム - natoriumu Sodium
脂質 ししつ shishitsu Fat
カルシウム - karushiumu Calcium
糖類 とうるい tourui Sugar (Nutritionally speaking.) Common Sugar is "砂糖" Satou
てつ tetsu Iron
亜鉛 あえん aye Zinc
葉酸 ようさん yousan Folic acid
食物繊維 しょくもつせんい shokumotsuseni Dietary fiber
ビタミン__ bitamine _ Vitamin __ Vitamin (A, B, C, etc.)
食塩相当量 しょくえんとうそうりょう shokuentousouryou the sodium chloride  amount of salt

Nutritional information

If you have an allergy to something, the products often tell you about some food allergens. You may notice this by looking directly at the ingredients, or some foods even have their own chart listing common allergenic ingredients like eggs and milk. Below I will leave a small table with vocabulary of some food allergens.

Japanese Romaji Portuguese
卵 (たまご) tamago Egg
Breast (chichi or nyuu) chichi or nyuu milk/dairy
小麦 (こむぎ) komugi Wheat
そば under the Soba (buckwheat)
落花生 (らっかせい) rakkasei peanuts / walnuts
えび ebi Shrimp
かに kani Crab
あわび arabi abalone
いか ika Lula
いくら ikura salmon roe
オレンジ orange Orange
キウイフルーツ kiuifruutsu Kiwi
牛肉 (ぎゅうにく) gyuuniku Meat
くるみ kurumi Nuts
さけ sake Sake
さば sabbath horsetail
大豆 (だいず) daizu Soybeans
鶏肉 (けいにく) keiniku Chicken
豚肉 (ぶたにく) butaniku Pig
まつたけ matsutake mushrooms
もも momo Peach
やまいも yamaimo Yam
りんご ringo Litter
ゼラチン zerachin Gelatin
バナナ banana Banana

I hope the tables have served and help everyone. Thank you for visiting our website! We appreciate the shares and comments.

source: survivingnjapan

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