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Volume 9, Number 8 - August 2008


About Food Consulting Company

"As a new product development firm, we rely heavily on the prompt service and expertise that Food Consulting Company provides. This allows us to focus on our own tasks and provides peace of mind knowing the regulatory items are covered."

– Jeff Liebrecht
Innovative Food Solutions, LLC

Dear Readers,  This month we want to share comments Food Consulting Company has received from clients. Our service goal is to make every client 100% satisfied and happy. Read comments and call on Food Consulting Company for expert food label help.

Q.  I've heard that Canada does not allow high fructose corn syrup in food products. Is this true?      G.C., Start-up Food Company, Washington


A.  Canadian food regulations do not prohibit the use of high fructose corn syrup. However Canadian regulations differ from U.S. regulations regarding nomenclature for this ingredient. Read more.

Submit a question for Reader Q&A (no charge).

Guidance - Antioxidant, High Potency, White Chocolate

In July 2008, FDA announced the availability of two new "Guidance for Industry" documents that address food labeling. The guides are:

1)  Food Labeling; Nutrient Content Claims; Definition for High Potency and Definition for Antioxidant for Use in Nutrient Content Claims for Dietary Supplements and Conventional Foods

This guidance corresponds to the final rule that was published in the September 23, 1997, Federal Register, and addresses:

  • High potency claims in conventional foods and dietary supplements

  • Antioxidant claims in conventional foods and dietary supplements

  • Sugar free claims in dietary supplements

2)  Standard of Identity for White Chocolate

This guidance corresponds to the final rule that was published in the October 4, 2002, Federal Register, and addresses composition and labeling of white chocolate.

Commentary:  These FDA guides are intended to present the requirements of the regulations in plain language. They are must-reads for food labelers who are working with high potency/antioxidant claims or with white chocolate/confection products.

CFSAN Lists Center's Food Labels Research Projects

FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) has posted a report titled 2008 Intramural Research Portfolio.

The document is a list of active research being conducted by CFSAN researchers. Those related to food labeling include:

  • Development of a method for rapid determination of trans fat content of foods

  • Evaluation of the measurement of trans fat content by gas chromotography

  • Experimental study of footnotes and cueing schemes to help consumers interpret quantitative trans fat disclosures

  • Experimental study of the impact of trans fat free and reduced trans fat label claims on food product choices

  • Evaluation of consumer reactions to qualified health claims

  • Evaluation of commercial test kits for detecting allergens in food

  • Development of rapid inexpensive allergen detection methods to test many samples and several allergens simultaneously

The report also lists research pertaining to dietary supplements, food safety, food defense and cosmetic safety. Besides intramural research, CFSAN has research partnerships with academia and industry; these are not listed in the report.

Watch Group Forces Change to Whole Grain Claim

In July 2008, the watch group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) announced a settlement agreement with a food company that followed CSPIís threat to sue for misrepresenting whole grain and fiber content on a product label.

Per the agreement the company will make it clear the product contains only 30% whole grains rather than claiming the product is nutritionally equivalent to 100% whole wheat bread. The company will also revise the label to include a statement of the product's whole grain content per serving compared to the government recommended 48 grams per day.

CSPI takes the stand that companies using the phrase "whole grain" have the legal responsibility under state consumer protection laws to disclose exactly how much whole grain a product contains.

CSPI committed to increasing legal action against deceptive food labeling and fraudulent advertising in 2005, since in the groupís view FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were doing a poor job enforcing the law in these areas.

Commentary: Food Label News, March 2006, reported on FDA's release of draft guidance for whole grain label statements; this is the latest guidance on the topic from FDA. Food labelers making whole grain label statements may also find the following Food Label News archived articles helpful: November 2006, January 2006, December 2005, August 2005.

At Your Service:  If you are seeking assurance about the accuracy and compliance of your food labels, request a Label Compliance Review. Food Consulting Company will examine your food labels to assure that they are in full compliance with FDA and FTC regulations. You will receive a report with instructions for any necessary changes.

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