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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

Imbalance, not meat, to blame for disease

Steak on dinner plateDiets high in red and processed meat have long been shown in epidemiological studies to be associated with increased cancer risk. The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AIRC) labeled processed meat as a “probable carcinogen” and red meat as a “possible carcinogen” based on an extensive analysis of the literature. Using only those studies that met the rigor of inclusion, 19 of 33 studies showed a link between increased cancer risk and the consumption of red or processed meat.

While this was a majority of the studies, a fairly substantial number (14 of 33) failed to show a statistically significant association. Furthermore, while red meat was categorized as a cancer risk in the same category as asbestos and cigarettes, the degree of risk is orders of magnitude different—the increased hazard from processed meat was 0.18 fold compared with cigarettes at more than 20 fold. Continue reading

Standing Up for Potatoes in Schools

As a Registered Dietitian, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and School Nutrition Professional, I support the effort to expand kids’ exposure to different fruits and vegetables (including those leafy greens and orange veggies). However, I am concerned about how far the USDA proposed rule for school meals goes in limiting the starchy vegetables (essentially to only one serving a week of either potatoes, or corn, or peas, or lima beans). Particularly when you lump peas and corn in with the potatoes, you’re severely limiting children’s favorites, and restricting efforts by schools to offer some healthy, locally grown foods that kids love. Keep Reading

Food Science, Nutrition, and Skin: Lessons for the Food Producer and Consumer on Aging, Beauty, and Healthy Skin

Two of the first things people notice when they meet someone new are skin and hair. So before trying the latest diet fad, consider that fat and other essential nutrients may be the fountain of youth. During one of IFT’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo’s scientific session titled “Food Science, Nutrition, and Skin: Lessons for the Food Producer and Consumer on Aging, Beauty, and Healthy Skin,” three panelists explained why fat combats signs of aging and hair loss. Keep Reading

Thoughts on Food Technology’s Wellness 09 Conference

Eat more soup. Have some almonds. These were my two biggest personal lessons from Food Technology’s Wellness 09 conference.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s overview of America’s dietary habits, the increase in obesity rates in the U.S. is staggering. And despite this, NPD Market Research shows that Americans still eat the same five basic meals for dinner in 2008 as we did 20 years ago.

Whenever I attend a show like this—with a peak into the minds of nutritionists and food scientists—I come away with the resolution that today’s the day I start my macrobiotic diet. But then, I’m prone to making sweeping large-scale changes…at least thinking that I will. Which brings me to the mantra expressed over and over again at the conference—“small changes.” The powers that be in the food nutrition world have pretty much given up on (for good reason) the concept that American consumers will ever kick our terrible eating habits, even with the strongest intention. They are now focusing their efforts on changing the food environment. Keep Reading

Tips for keeping the supply chain in check

In recent years, the nation’s food supply has been in the news, which has caused great concern by consumers. There are a number of legislative activities to attempt to alleviate this concern, but the main responsibility is, and always has been, on the management of the firm in the food chain. So what can a firm do to address such issues? The answer is simple—define and document your role as management.

Top management is often discussed in many standards and contract requirements, including those of ISO 22000 and ISO 9001. This organization point is the key to a firm’s success and the success of the food chain. Keep Reading

Sharing perspectives on today’s hot topics

Welcome to Food Technology’s new ePerspective—a venue where our authors and experts will deliver insight into the sometimes frenzied food landscape. Consider it your go-to source for the inside track on late-breaking food-related issues.

For example, in the first posting, Doug Powell, Associate Professor of food safety at Kansas State Univ. and Publisher of Barfblog.com, offers commentary on a current food safety hot topic. In addition to reveling in Doug’s insightful prose, you—our readers—are encouraged to post your thoughts on the issue. Ask Doug a question. Expound on his ideas. Or challenge them, for that matter.

ePerspective is a place to share ideas and thoughts on food science, technology, and marketplace issues using the timeliest vehicle possible—the Web. Check back often, because our experts will be posting regularly. And if there’s a topic out there you feel we need to address, let us know. You can email ideas to bswientek@ift.org or khensel@ift.org. After all, the whole point of this is to give you a venue to voice your thoughts on the latest food-related happenings and, hopefully, gain insight from others’ perspectives.

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