There was some rather noteworthy feedback on FDA proposed nutrition label changes given at the public meeting on June 26th. The meeting was entitled “Proposed Rules on Food Labeling: Nutrition Facts Label and Serving Size.” This public meeting follows the FDA announcement in February of the proposal for an over-haul to the current nutrition facts label. The current nutrition label is 20 years old. The only change made to the label in that time was the addition of Trans Fat in 2006.
The FDA announced today that they have launched a new Food Code Reference System to help with the public’s understanding of the FDA Food Code. This FDA new searchable database for the Food Code answers questions that many people might have regarding food safety in retail and food services. The FDA hopes that it will “help promote nationwide consistency and increase transparency about the Food Code.”
It’s safe to say that the FDA is working overtime these days. While the recent focus in the food manufacturing industry has been on the FDA’s Proposed Nutrition Facts Label Changes, another change might be coming our way. The FDA announced on March 5th that it will be revisiting a draft guidance issued in 2009 addressing its definition of the use of “evaporated cane juice” to describe sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup.
The term “Juice” is defined by 21 CFR 120.1(a) as “the aqueous liquid expressed or extracted from one or more fruits or vegetables, purees of the edible portions of one or more fruits or vegetables, or any concentrates of such liquid or puree.” There has been an increase in the use of the term “evaporated cane juice” on the ingredient statement to declare the presence of sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup.
Recipe Database versus Lab Nutrition Analysis There are two methods used to get Nutrition Facts Labels, they are either Database Software Analysis or Laboratory Analysis. Most foods can be analyzed for their nutrition content by recipe database analysis. Database analysis follows simple chemical principles of entering the specific quantity of each ingredient for a recipe. The software then calculates the nutrient values base on a serving size.
One of the proposals set forth by the FDA earlier this month is to revise the nutrients that must be declared on a nutrition label. While the evidence and reasoning might very well support this change, the food labeling industry is concerned that the addition of the new nutrients required for labeling may cause some difficulty for food manufacturers to comply within a timely manner using a database software analysis.