US edges towards making sesame declaration mandatory19 Mar 2021
Earlier this month, the US Senate unanimously passed a bill to require food manufacturers to list in plain language sesame as an allergen on food packaging.
The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act, S. 578, was promoted by FARE, a non-governmental organisation engaged in food allergy advocacy and introduced to the Senate by Senator Tim Scott of the Republican party and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy.
If passed, any food sold on or after 1 January 2023 must declare the presence of sesame as a major food allergen.
The FASTER act would also require the federal government to analyse the most promising research opportunities in order to help scientists develop more effective treatments with the view of finding a potential cure for food allergies. FARE noted that currently, the federal government spends just 19 cents per person on allergy research.
In the US, an estimated 32 million individuals suffer from a food allergy, of whom more than 1.5 million are allergic to sesame. Sesame can trigger an anaphylactic reaction similar to peanut allergies, and can be fatal. Introducing the bipartisan bill, Scott noted that caring for children with food allergies costs an average of $25 billion annually.
Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE, which is the world’s biggest private funder of food allergy research, said: “On behalf of the nearly 1.6 million Americans who are allergic to sesame and live with the fear they could unknowingly consume this dangerous allergen, I thank Senator Scott and Senator Murphy for bringing this critical piece of bipartisan legislation forward and the entire Senate for their overwhelming support. We now look forward to the House of Representatives passing the FASTER Act and sending it on to the President for his signature and enacting it into law.”
There are eight food allergens that manufacturers are required to declare in the US: peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, egg, cow’s milk, and fish. In November 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance encouraging manufacturers to declare sesame voluntarily but there is currently no legal requirement to do so.
The non-profit organisation, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), worked with affected families to gather information and revealed in a 2015 report that many leading food brands, including Pringles, Kellogg’s, and Slim Jim, were failing to disclose their use of sesame as an ingredient, instead declaring it as ‘natural flavors’, ‘flavoring’ or ‘spices’.
Sesame may also be labelled as gingelly, sesamol, and til oil, making it difficult for individuals to understand quickly and easily what the product contains.
Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said people needed to be able to quickly identify products that might contain sesame.
“While most products containing sesame declare it as an ingredient, there are times when sesame is not required to be declared by name on the label, such as when it is used as a flavour or spice,” she said. “Other ingredients, like ‘tahini,’ are made by grinding sesame into a paste, but not all consumers are aware that tahini is made from sesame. In these instances, sesame may not be declared by name in the ingredient list on a product’s label.”
The FASTER bill does not mark the first time campaigners have taken up the issue of sesame labelling. In 2014, the CSPI joined leading allergists and affected families in filing a Citizen Petition before the FDA, calling on the agency to make labelling a legal requirement.
The European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand already require allergen labelling for sesame.
Eat Just looks to crack into the market with a $3B IPO
23 Jul 2021
Cultured protein maker Eat Just is targeting a $3 billion initial public offering in Q4 2021 or early in 2022, Forbes reported after receiving information from a leading investor in the plant-based egg producing company.Read more
General Mills launches snack limiting blood sugar spikes
21 Jul 2021
Coming out of General Mills’ Innovation Lab is a new snack brand called Good Measure that is designed specifically to not spike the blood sugar of the person snacking. While this product can serve a wide variety of consumers, including those following ...Read more
Future of Nutrition Award debuts at the Fi Europe Innovation Awards
16 Jul 2021
The Fi Europe Innovation Awards, held at Fi Europe 2021 co-located with Hi Europe, celebrate people, companies and organisations breaking new ground in the Food & Beverage industry.Read more
C3 on its recent MENA expansion: ‘The region is a hub of tech and culinary innovation’
16 Jul 2021
Omnichannel food tech platform Creating Culinary Communities (C3) is bringing its cloud kitchen and food delivery tech to the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, announcing a $100 million joint venture in Saudi Arabia just months after expanding to...Read more
Kerry to purchase preservative company Niacet for $1B
16 Jul 2021
Irish ingredients giant Kerry Group has entered into an agreement to buy the clean-label preservatives manufacturer Niacet from the private equity group SK Capital for $1 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.Read more
Halo Top co-founder launches low-calorie, low-sugar chocolate bar
15 Jul 2021
Gatsby Chocolate is one of the newest entrants into the better-for-you indulgence space as of this summer. From the founder of Halo Top ice cream, Doug Bouton, this new chocolate bar uses Epogee's EPG fat alternative ingredient, which is a formulation ...Read more
Livekindly creates New Vegan Food Brands for Chinese market
14 Jul 2021
Plant-based company collective Livekindly launched its first brands created in-house. Sold under the names Giggling Pig 咯咭藸 [Ge Ji Zhu] and Happy Chicken 哈皮鸡 [Ha Pi Ji], these brands sell products aimed at Gen Z Chinese customers that are interested in...Read more
Aleph Farms raises $105M, plans for cell-based meat launch in 2022
13 Jul 2021
Cultured meat manufacturer Aleph Farms is steaming ahead toward its goal of commercialization. The Israeli startup announced it received $105 million in funding from a Series B investment round led by L Catterton's Growth Fund and DisruptAD, which is o...Read more
PepsiCo doubles down on nonalcoholic cocktail mixers with Unmuddled
8 Jul 2021
Legacy soda manufacturer PepsiCo is moving deeper into the non-alcoholic cocktail space with the announcement that it will debut a line of premium mixers called Unmuddled. The product line will be available beginning in September at Fresh Thyme and on ...Read more
ReGrained flour is inaugural recipient of Upcycled Food certification
7 Jul 2021
Upcycled food company ReGrained is the first company in the world to receive the new Upcycled Food Certification for its SuperGrain+ flour. This new certification is awarded by the Upcycled Food Association, which finalized its certification standards ...Read more
Are you a supplier?
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation