categorize these foods until suppliers have
provided updated information.
Oftentimes, the nutrition label or 100g
report of a mixed or processed food is
manually entered based on due diligence
when completing an analysis. This happens
when the software does not have a specific product in its database. Many recipes
depend on this for their analysis. But until
those manufacturers have updated their
nutrition label with added sugars, this cannot be done.
This same kind of informational lag
could happen with two other FDA-proposed
listings of new nutrients: Vitamin D and
potassium. However, with these nutrients,
laboratory testing is available for those
companies that do not want to wait for
their suppliers to update their nutrition
5. How will this affect timelines
for food businesses?
The FDA has proposed allowing six
months for the industry to prepare for the
changes, once their final ruling is issued.
This is intended for database analysis software companies and laboratories to update
their programs so that food manufacturers
can begin to update their labels.
Food manufacturers need not panic
about the added sugars change. The FDA
has proposed giving food manufacturers
two years to comply after the initial six
months of industry preparation. However,
a bit of catch-up time is to be expected as
adding mixed and processed foods used in
recipes will slow down the update process.
Above all, manufacturers should be ready
to ask suppliers to make their label change
as soon as possible. The sooner they
change their labels, the sooner you can
It’s also a good idea to establish a good
working relationship with a reputable food
labeling and laboratory testing company.
As with added sugars, other changes to the
FDA Nutrition Facts label are likely to be
forthcoming, and having a reliable partner
will ensure accurate and timely FDA compliance.
About the authors
Roger Legg is co-founder of RL Food
Testing Laboratory, and its senior chemist. Beth Vessels is a director at RL Food
Testing, and its resident regulatory expert.