FDA: Processed fruit and vegetables could be 'added sugars' on new label

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published guidance regarding added sugars and fruit and vegetable ingredients, Food Business News reported
  • "If sugars in the processed fruit or vegetable ingredient are in excess of what would be expected from 100% fruit or vegetables, those sugars must be declared as added sugars," according to Food Business News.
  • The new added sugar rule is part of a major Nutrition Facts overhaul the FDA developed and will begin enforcing for manufacturers, generating $10 million or more in annual food sales in July 2018.

Dive Insight:

This explanation could be critical for many manufacturers struggling to determine which of their sugar sources are deemed "added" and which are naturally occurring. The Food Marketing Institute had pressed FDA to come up with this sort of guidance. Generally speaking, fruits and vegetables are a natural and healthier way to accomplish sweet flavors.

However, the presence of fruits and vegetables on an ingredients label could be deceiving if the brand neglects to mention how the products go through the manufacturing process. Essentially, if regulators determine the produce ingredient to be too processed and not enough like the whole fruit, then it earns the added sugar label.

Some fruits and vegetables are high in sugar content and could therefore bump up the sugar level brands report in the Nutrition Facts. However, because it's a different type of sugar  natural rather than refined  consumers may better tolerate it than if that amount of sugar was added to the product.

FDA is accepting comments on the draft guidance during the 60 days after the guidance is published in the Federal Register.

Filed Under: Manufacturing Ingredients Packaging / Labeling Policy
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