Sugar Free Sunday & FDA’s Stance On Evaporated Cane Juice
Welcome to one of the sweetest weekly virtual potluck get-together ever! Yes indeed — it is Sugar Free Sunday. We host it every Sunday to exchange incredible sugar free recipes and to inspire you to start the week right!
Over a year ago, I wrote a post analyzing “Evaporated Cane Juice”. Since then I’ve seen almost every “healthy” alternative processed food list evaporated cane juice as one of their primary ingredients. Feel free to read the whole post to understand what “evaporated cane juice” means compared to just “sugar”. But the short of it, in my opinion is — not much. It’s more a way to get around saying sugar.
Now it seems I’m not the only one who holds this opinion. Last week The New York Times reported that the lawyers that took on Big Tobacco are now taking their aim at the food industry for their marketing tactics.
Mr. Barrett’s group, for example, has brought a case against Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker, for listing “evaporated cane juice,” as an ingredient in its pomegranate-flavored yogurt. The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly warned companies not to use the term because it is “false and misleading,” according to the suit.
“If you’re going to put sugar in your yogurt, why not just say it’s sugar?” said Pierce Gore, a lawyer affiliated with Mr. Barrett’s group.
What?! The FDA has warned companies not to use the term “Evaporated Cane Juice”?! And yet — I see it in just about every “healthy” cereal.. “healthy” yogurt.. “healthy”……. WHAT?!
So of course I had to look into this. The FDA has indeed written up a draft on their guidance to the industry on the use of the term “Evaporated Cane Juice”. Here a little quote from their draft:
The intent of this draft guidance is to advise the regulated industry of FDA’s view that the term “evaporated cane juice” is not the common or usual name of any type of sweetener, including dried cane syrup. Because cane syrup has a standard of identity defined by regulation in 21 CFR 168.130, the common or usual name for the solid or dried form of cane syrup is “dried cane syrup.”
Sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup should not be listed in the ingredient declaration by names which suggest that the ingredients are juice, such as “evaporated cane juice.” FDA considers such representations to be false and misleading under section 403(a)(1) of the Act (21 U.S.C. 343(a)(1)) because they fail to reveal the basic nature of the food and its characterizing properties (i.e., that the ingredients are sugars or syrups) as required by 21 CFR 102.5. Furthermore, sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup are not juice and should not be included in the percentage juice declaration on the labels of beverages that are represented to contain fruit or vegetable juice (see 21 CFR 101.30).
Um.. The FDA has said that using the term “Evaporated Cane Juice” is FALSE and MISLEADING.
The FDA’s draft is dated OCTOBER 2009. That’s 3 years ago.
Yeah – thanks for looking out for us “healthy” food companies. (I hope you can hear my sarcasm.)
How do you participate in the virtual potluck?
- Link your recipe post (NOT your homepage) if it does not use refined sugar. Your blog does not have to be entirely sugar free, just the dish you’re sharing!
- Please link back to this get-together somewhere in your post’s text. It’s a great way to invite your readers to the fun!
- Sign up for free to our new venture Velvet Aroma. It’s a visual way to read the blogs you love and really bring their recipes into your kitchen.
- See all the details on our Sugar Free Sunday page.
We’re so excited to see what you’re cooking….. Sugar Free!
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