eli5: how are nutrition labels made?

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So I’m on a specific diet for surgery where I can not have any vitamin C at all. Why is it that something can have ingredients with vitamin C, but then on the label it says 0% vitamin C?? I just want to make sure I’m avoiding the vitamin.

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Usually, it’s a non-active ingredient like ascorbyl palmitate. Explaining how labels are made might be too complex for what you need. What ingredients are you seeing that contain vitamin c?

You cannot rely on the nutrition info label if you plan to avoid trace amounts of vitamin C. Depending on where you live and what standards authorities are in charge, those labels can be inaccurate from a margin of 1% up to 10%.

To really cut out *all* potential sources of vitamin C you’re probably going to have to do a lot of cooking from scratch and avoiding premade ingredients entirely, I’m afraid.