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Nutrition Facts Label Changes Drive Industry Reformulation


The original Nutrition Facts panel (left) versus the new panel (right)

Late last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized the new Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods, which includes some major changes to the nutrients required to be listed, the way the serving sizes are written, and the label design. The final rule becomes effective on July 26, 2016, and the compliance date is July 26, 2018, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales and July 26, 2019, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales.

What impact will the changes have on ingredient and food manufacturers? Food Technology magazine recently spoke with Roger Legg, senior chemist at RL Food Testing Laboratory, about how manufacturers should prepare for the compliance dates and what the change may mean for them in terms of product development and reformulation moving forward. Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court Paves Way for More False Advertising Disputes

Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 JuicesOn June 12, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-0 ruling in favor of Pom Wonderful in a longstanding false advertising dispute against rival beverage company The Coca-Cola Co. The Supreme Court held that competitors can bring Lanham Act claims like Pom Wonderful’s challenging food and beverage labels regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

At issue in the case was Coca-Cola’s “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices,” which is 99% apple and grape juice. Pom Wonderful (Pom), who has a competing pomegranate-blueberry juice blend, sued Coca-Cola. It alleged that the juice’s name and other labeling features were misleading under the federal Lanham Act—a statute that allows competitors to sue based on the false or misleading description of goods (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)). Keep Reading

Exposing the Truth Behind the ‘Slime’

There has been a lot of media attention given to a product that is unfamiliar to most consumers, even though they have been eating it for the last 20 years. Lean finely textured beef, known by the derogatory term “pink slime,” has come to mean many things to many people. And as is often the case with something unfamiliar, people sometimes jump to conclusions that are based on incomplete facts.

Keep Reading

California’s Prop 65: Unduly frightening the public?

At this morning’s IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo symposia “California Proposition 65: Foods are under siege!” Jeffrey Brian Margulies (Fulbright & Jaworski LLP) discussed the numerous areas of controversy surrounding the Safe Sample Prop 65 warningDrinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (aka Prop 65) that has been in effect in California since it was passed in 1986. While created to protect the public by labeling products that contain known carcinogens and reproductive toxicants with a warning, Margulies brought up a good point that what Prop 65 is inevitably doing is actually “scaring the heck out of people.” Keep Reading

Guiding America to healthier food choices?

A trip to the grocery store can be an overwhelming experience. With tens of thousands of products to choose from, how can a consumer decide which are best? While the Nutrition Facts label points out important nutritional features of each product using a consistent format, many food companies are turning to front-of-the-package (FOP) labeling and grocery chains are implementing at-shelf labeling to quickly and easily help consumers make healthy choices. Each uses different rating systems in an effort to provide a simplified tool for consumers. A new online rating system, GoodGuide.com, rates a variety of brand labels, not only on nutritional content, but adds the dimensions of environmental performance such as energy usage, and social performance such as labor practices. GoodGuide’s database of products is available through its website, by text messaging the product bar code, or through downloading an iPhone application. Thus technology-savvy consumers can have access to each product’s information while shopping. Keep Reading