Fiber
The F.D.A. gave a dietary fiber definition that includes naturally occurring fibers and only fibers added to foods that show a physiological health benefit.
 
WASHINGTON — A new fiber definition from the Food and Drug Administration, the timeline to come into compliance with the F.D.A.’s new Nutrition Facts Panel and an added sugars listing on that panel all concern the American Bakers Association, Washington.

The F.D.A. released the new Nutrition Facts Panel May 20. It becomes effective July 26. Food and beverage manufacturers with sales greater than $10 million need to comply by July 26, 2018. Companies with sales below $10 million have until July 26, 2019.
Lee Sanders, A.B.A.
Lee Sanders, senior vice-president for government relations and public affairs for the A.B.A.

“The American Bakers Association is extremely disappointed that the Food and Drug Administration’s final rule revising the Nutrition Facts Panel failed to incorporate feedback on the compliance timeline from the baking industry and maintains a two-year implementation period that will be difficult to meet in the best of circumstances and will significantly add to implementation costs for baking companies of all sizes,” said Lee Sanders, senior vice-president for government relations and public affairs for the A.B.A.

Also on May 20, the F.D.A. gave a dietary fiber definition for the first time. It includes naturally occurring fibers and only fibers added to foods that show a physiological health benefit.

“Unfortunately, F.D.A. retained the definition of dietary fiber based on a showing of a beneficial physiological effect, rather than a chemical definition as is the case for most other nutrients,” the A.B.A. said.

The F.D.A. said, “By defining the term dietary fiber, based on beneficial physiological effects in human health rather than by chemical definition, we will ensure that the dietary fiber declared amount will assist consumers to maintain healthy dietary practices, consistent with our labeling authorities under section 403(q) of F.D.&C. Act.”

Other elements of the F.D.A.’s fiber definition pleased the A.B.A. For example, the A.B.A. changed the wording of “isolated and synthetic” fibers to “isolated or synthetic” fiber. The change helps reflect that fibers that are isolated are not synthetic, according to the A.B.A.

The A.B.A. also agreed with the F.D.A. determining that scientific evidence supports a showing of a beneficial physiological effect to human health from the following fibers: cellulose, guar gum, pectin, locust bean gum, psyllium husk and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose.

The F.D.A. plans to publish a separate notice that will seek comment on the available scientific data on non-digestible carbohydrates. Publicly available clinical trial data will be identified and summarized for non-digestible carbohydrates, including inulin, bamboo fiber, soy fiber, pea fiber, wheat fiber, cotton seed fiber, sugar cane fiber, sugar beet fiber and oat fiber.

The new Nutrition Facts Panel will include information on added sugars. The new rules will require the declaration of a gram amount of “added sugars” in a serving of a product, establish a Daily Reference Value and require a per cent daily value declaration for added sugars. The new rules also will change “sugars” to “total sugars” and require the statement “includes ‘X’ g added sugars” be indented and declared directly below total sugars on the label.

Added sugars on Nutrition Facts panel
The new Nutrition Facts Panel will include information on added sugars.
“To assure that this change in policy is based on the full body of scientific evidence, it would have been most appropriate for the National Academy of Sciences to have conducted an official Daily Reference Intake review before any policy changes were executed,” Ms. Sanders said.

In regard to fermentation, the F.D.A. noted that companies could petition for alternative compliance when measuring for added sugar labeling requirements, the A.B.A. said. The A.B.A. plans to review this issue and others related to the final rules for the Nutrition Facts Panel and serving size revisions at its upcoming Food Technical Regulatory Affairs Committee meeting June 7-8 in Washington.

Examples of added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, trehalose and turbinado sugar.

The Sugar Association, Washington, was more vocal on the listing of added sugars.

“The extraordinary contradictions and irregularities, as well as the lack of scientific justification in this rule-making process are unprecedented for the F.D.A.,” the association said. “We are concerned that the ruling sets a dangerous precedent that is not grounded in science and could actually deter us from our shared goal of a healthier America.

“F.D.A. has openly admitted it deviated from factors traditionally considered for mandatory declaration of nutrients on the NFL (i.e. chronic disease, health-related conditions). Instead, F.D.A. arbitrarily selected from general dietary guidance and science of low evidentiary value to support its proposal for ‘added sugars’ labeling and to set a DRV. F.D.A. also ignored comment from the European Commission inviting them to reconsider their position, citing lack of distinction between total and added sugars.”

For the Federal Register notice on the Nutrition Facts Panel, visit link.