A recent study from UC Davis Olive Center and the Australian Oils Research Laboratory has people questioning the purity claims made on the olive oil they purchase. The study found that nearly two-thirds of extra-virgin olive oils found in California grocery stores weren't what they were claiming to be – and most of them were pricey import brands.
Our very own Roger Legg, Senior Nutrition Chemist at RL Food Testing Laboratories, explains, “There are two common criteria for classifying different grades or purity of olive oil: fatty acid percentage, u.v. absorbance at two wavelengths 232 and 270 nm and a calculated delta K value. Based on these results from laboratory testing a company can make a claim about the purity.”
In a recent webinar hosted by National Restaurant News titled Menu Labeling: Healthy Solutions to a Weighty Issue, Trent Norris, a partner at Arnold & Porter, LLP, advised restaurant owners not delay nutrition analysis per the FDA’s pending regulations expected to come out at the end of the year. One reason being that the FDA believes the original requirement for calorie labeling is in effect right now – since March 23, 2010. Although they are not currently enforcing the requirement, there is “a possibility of private enforcement of the FDA standards under State Consumer Protection Laws.” And even though, it is only “theoretical at the moment,” Norris urges that “restaurants need to be on top of this pretty much yesterday.”
Are you a restaurant owner? What are your thoughts on the pending FDA regulations?
The FDA notified 17 food manufacturers that the labeling for 22 of their food products violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
The violations cited in the Warning Letters include unauthorized health claims, unauthorized nutrient content claims, and the unauthorized use of terms such as “healthy,” and others that have strict, regulatory definitions. Companies have 15 business days to reply to the FDA regarding corrective steps.
Nutrition labeling is a major priority for the FDA. Br uce A. Silverglade, director of legal affairs of the Center for Science in the Public Interest stated in a NY Times article. “The F.D.A. is not merely firing a shot across the bow; it is declaring war on misleading food labeling.” CSPI is a leading advocacy group that had pushed for stricter rules.
You can view these warning letters on the FDA’s site.