Implementation is staggered, with large companies obliged to meet the requirements by January 1, 2020 date, and smaller businesses by 2021. But the change is already forcing businesses to re-think how they formulate their products, in order to avoid the negative perception associated with added sugar.
However, a simple solution is at hand, in the form of fruit purees, says Welch’s Global Ingredients Group. Purees are not included in the definition of added sugar and therefore the fruit sugars naturally present in purees only need to be included in the total sugars declaration.
Power to purees
“Purees deliver natural sweetness, but their sugar content isn’t considered to be added sugar by FDA,” said Kevin Kilcoyne, VP & General Manager at Welch’s Global Ingredients Group. “This means they offer a good option for food companies who prefer not to see added sugar on their nutrition facts panels or wish to minimise the amount of added sugars they are obliged to declare.”
Manufacturers will still be able to use fruit juice concentrates or powders. However, they will need to declare some of the sugar contributed by these ingredients as added sugar, depending on the final application. FDA regulations stipulate that the portion of sugar above what would normally be found in an equivalent volume of 100% juice must be labelled as added sugar. The calculations involved in establishing this often need to be carried out manually – a cumbersome and costly process. Using purees and puree concentrates means companies can avoid this extra burden.