USDA expands its definition of nitrates15 Jan 2021
The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will expand the definition of nitrates in May 2021 to prohibit products using any source of nitrates from using the statements “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” and “Uncured.” Sources of nitrates, both synthetic and natural, will be considered curing agents.
This new ruling is in response to a petition sent by the Center for Science in the Public Interest requesting the governmental agency to revise its position on nitrates as the current labeling system is misleading. In the petition, the agency asked for the USDA to require labeling non-synthetic sources of nitrates, such as celery powder, as curing agents; require nitrate ingredients to be listed on the nutrition panel; require a disclosure such as “Nitrates or nitrites added” on all products prepared with any sources of nitrates; and prohibit the statements, “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” and “Uncured,” on products that have been processed using any source of nitrates.
While several of these requests were granted, the USDA is not obliging manufacturers to disclose of the use of nitrates when non-synthetic sources are used. Instead, the agency said that the amended definitions of “cured” and “uncured” will clarify the current confusion around the use of nitrate sources.
Such sweeping changes to the definition of nitrates will certainly affect the food industry as many manufacturers have sought to clean up their food labels and erase the term nitrates from them by using vegetal-based nitrate substitutes. However, now that these sources are considered nitrates, companies will once again have to redesign their labels or reformulate their products if they wish to keep nitrates from appearing on labels.
Despite the push to remove the term from visibility, nitrates are an important addition to many products, particularly processed meats, as they act as preservatives that prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria. Despite their efficacy, consumers have largely taken the stance that they prefer to not have nitrates in their food. There have been studies showing that nitrates lead to the body developing carcinogens; a fact that was noted in the petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Pressure from consumers has led to manufacturers working to devise alternative preservation solutions. While natural ingredients like sage, salt and vinegar are widely used, they remain less popular than nitrate solutions for preservation.
With nearly half of consumers searching for “no nitrates added” labels when purchasing products, according to a 2019 Consumer Reports survey, manufacturers will have to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of continuing to rely on nitrates to preserve products.
Belgium is officially declared free from African Swine Fever
14 Jan 2021
Belgium officially earned a new status from the World Organization of Animal Health confirming the country is free from African Swine Fever (ASF). This updated status is the first time since September 2018 that the country has officially been declared ...Read more
UK to continue exporting agricultural products to EU
8 Jan 2021
Despite the UK officially leaving the European Union, the island nation will still be able to continue exporting meat fish and dairy to the continent. Late last month, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) granted the UK Third ...Read more
Singapore becomes first country to approve lab-grown meat
4 Jan 2021
The Singapore Food Agency, the city state’s regulatory body for food, approved San Francisco startup Eat Just’s cell-based meat chicken product, paving the way for its sale in the country.Read more
The Cocoa Barometer report shows few improvements in cocoa industry
17 Dec 2020
Despite 20 years of rhetoric from companies promising to undertake initiatives that will increase the standard of living for farmers in cocoa-producing countries as well as mitigate the environmental impacts associated with cocoa production in regions ...Read more
Chobani coconut yogurt is now Fair Trade certified
16 Dec 2020
Greek yogurt maker Chobani announced that its coconut yogurt blends are now made with Fair Trade Certified coconuts, saying that it is the first national brand to earn this certification for a coconut blend in the yogurt aisle. The Fair Trade Certified...Read more
Finnish coffee brand Meira launches a bio-based sustainable cup
11 Dec 2020
Helsinki-based coffee roaster Meira released a new line of coffee called Vallilan Paahtimo with the aim of offering a more sustainable cup of coffee – both inside and out. The coffee is a single-origin, sustainably grown variety that is then packaged i...Read more
Swiss panel releases diet recommendations to support immunity during pandemic
4 Nov 2020
It’s no secret that diet can aid in one’s overall health, but an expert panel in collaboration with the Swiss Society of Nutrition has defined a particular cocktail of micronutrients to support a well-functioning immune system with a special focus on C...Read more
In Ireland, Subway’s sandwich rolls are not legally bread
13 Oct 2020
The Irish Supreme Court ruled that Subway bread is not legally considered as such. Instead, its sugar content, which is five times above what Irish law specifies as the acceptable threshold for bread, lands the company’s sandwich rolls in the confectio...Read more
U.K. begins exporting beef to the U.S. for the first time since 1996
12 Oct 2020
After over two decades of prohibiting the importation of beef into the U.S. from the U.K., the government of the United States lifted the ban this October to allow for U.K. beef producers to trade across The Pond.Read more
Indian trade association calls to waive license renewals for food businesses
2 Oct 2020
As the lingering pandemic continues to upend routine business practices the world over, Indian trade association, the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal, is requesting that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) not require license...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