The FDA’s position on sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup is that they should not be declared as “evaporated cane juice” because not only is this not the common name, but also implies the ingredient is a juice. And by definition, “evaporated cane juice” is not a juice.
The FDA is reopening the comment period on Evaporated Cane Juice, for 60 days to “better understand the basic nature and characterizing properties of the ingredient, the methods of producing it, and the differences between this ingredient and other sweeteners,” the agency said. The 2009 comment period was closed in December of 2009 and simply “advised” companies not to use the term in their ingredient statement because it was misleading.
Many consumers feel mislead and have taken legal action against Chobani Inc. and Nestle USA Inc. to name a few. The 2009 draft guidance is not law, but has been used as a basis for litigation over the use of the terminology. By reopening, the FDA appears to be looking for a means to update or finalize the guidance on “evaporated cane juice” which will help make a determination in cases against the manufacturers using the term to describe their sweeteners.
If the FDA imposes the change based on feedback from the comment period, manufacturers will be required to revise their Nutrition Facts Label ingredient statement to become compliant. Our dedicated staff at RL Food Testing Laboratory will be available to help those in the industry needing an overhaul of their ingredient statement as well as FDA approved nutritional facts labels and food testing services.