Manufacturers should be aware of the limitations of UPC barcodes available. There are basically two categories of UPC barcodes manufacturers can choose. The generic UPC without a company prefix is not registered with GS1. These barcodes are intended for small, local retailers and distributors. If your company’s demand increases for larger sales then you need a GS-1 certified UPC.
If you intend to sell your product to large retailers: Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Trader Joes, Amazon, etc you will need a GS1 barcode. Contact ALL distributors of your product(s) before you print packaging with the barcode to ensure you meet their requirements.
The California Office of Environmental Health and Human Hazard Administration (OEHHA) has listed cadmium and lead as chemicals known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Chocolate and confectionary products are among those which are a source of these minerals.
Cadmium and lead may contaminate the chocolate product at many points through the “bean to bar” process; these sources may depend on the cacao growing, fermenting, processing, manufacturing, shipping, and packaging practices.
One significant source is manmade pollution created by industrial processes as described above. Due to the persistence of these heavy metals in soil, they remain present even after the industrial source has been removed. Another source of these heavy metals in chocolate is through direct application of pesticides (lead and cadmium), phosphate fertilizers (cadmium), as well as sewage sludge disposal (lead and cadmium).
A third source of lead and cadmium is contamination through one of the various processing steps a bean undergoes after the harvest. These steps include fermentation, drying of the cacao bean, and manufacturing processes such as grinding, refining, and conching. Other opportunities for contamination are shipping, handling, and finally, packaging. Studies have shown that much of the “lead contamination in (chocolate) products occurs after the beans are harvested and dried, during the shipping of those beans and/or the manufacturing of cocoa and chocolate products.”
How can manufacturers prevent lead and cadmium contamination in their products?
Due to the variances in cocoa production chocolate manufacturers should test every batch of cocoa by an accredited laboratory received from their supply for lead and cadmium before production to ensure it is below or meets the minimum requirements of Proposition 65.
There may not be a single remedy to remove lead and cadmium in chocolate products. Chocolate manufacturers must understand the manufacturing practices and possible manmade sources of contamination and then take steps to identify the source(s) of the contamination. For example, the equipment used to process chocolate could be a primary source of lead or cadmium. Similarly, water used in processing, or shipping containers, may be high in lead. Once the source(s) are identified, suppliers and manufacturers can improve their practices; increase supply chain transparency; and effectively remove lead and cadmium from their final product.
Here are answers to your important questions regarding the FDA’s final ruling for the revised Nutrition Facts Label:
When can I get the new label?
Our software provider, Esha, has provided us that the updated patch and we can now produce the new label.
When do I need to have the new Nutrition Facts on my food product by?
July 26, 2018 is the compliance date. However, an extra year is given for manufacturers who have less than $10 million in annual sales.
What should I do now?
We will need the nutrition information, for all your ingredients and sub-ingredients, updated with the newly added nutrients: Potassium, Vitamin D and Added Sugars. If you use a flour, for example, then you will need to get that updated information for us in either a 100gram report or their updated Nutrition Facts – before we can complete your label.
If you would like to change to the new label as quickly as possible, then we suggest you start to gather this information now. You may need to call your suppliers to find out when they will be updating their products with these new nutrients.
What are the changes to the nutrition facts label?
There is a lot of information for us to share with you regarding these changes; however, for now, this helpful infographic may give you a general understanding of the differences. Click here to see the infographic.
The final ruling on the NEW Nutrition Facts Panel has been announced today. The changed facts panel is an effort to reduce America’s increasing obesity rates and related diseases. Michelle Obama, who has been a fervent supporter of the revised nutrition facts, made the announcement today during the Partnership for a Healthier America summit.
In the next few days, we will be putting together a more comprehensive review of the changes and the impacts they will have on your food business. But for now, here are some of the key points:
·Compliance date is July 26, 2018; however, an additional year will be given for food manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales.
·“Added Sugar” declaration will be included.
·Calories and servings will be more prominent.
·Updated serving sizes for the RACC to come.
·Dual Column labels will be required for foods with the RACC of 200% to 300%.
·New nutrients Vitamin D and Potassium to be added (Vitamins A & C no longer required).
What should you do now?
Just hold tight a few more days. The industry was just sent out the guidance late this morning. As of today, the updated software is not available for us to produce the new label. We are awaiting an announcement from Esha, our analysis software company, regarding the timeline for the updates to come through.
Meanwhile, we will be pouring over the new regulations and will have more details coming to you early next week.