Dietary fiber has received a significant amount of attention recently as part of a series of updates made to nutrition facts labels rolled out by FDA earlier this spring. The agency’s new definition of dietary fiber is “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants,” and “isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units) determined by FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.” The key here being ‘beneficial fiber’ as defined by FDA. Continue Reading

Over the summer, Biofortis nutrition science experts authored four articles detailing how specific ingredients and foods impact health. Cranberries, corn starch fiber and partially hydrogenated oils were featured prominently in our contributions to industry publications over the past few months as part of a larger examination of how food affects health.

Beyond the primary foods featured in these studies, the methods used to study them also offer useful insight. These studies use three different tools: meta-analysis, randomized clinical trials and evidence mapping. Continue Reading

Regulations, Regulations
With food and beverage labeling regulations being passed down by FDA, many retailers, manufacturers and restaurants have to rethink their labeling strategy to comply with these new rules. Some of these new and updated regulations include nutrition facts labeling regulations and menu labeling regulations. In order to comply with these requirements, nutritional analysis may need to be performed. These nutritional results could be used for nutrition facts labels for US and Canadian food and beverage packaging, or calorie and nutrition information for menu labeling. Manufacturers, retailers and restaurants alike must factor in how they will update their nutrition and menu labels when planning their compliance strategies. Continue Reading

Co-authored by Nick Price

Take a look at nutritional labels from different foods and you will see %Daily Values for most of the nutrients, but rarely for protein. This is because the declared amount of protein in products needs to be adjusted for its ability to provide us with sufficient amino acids.

In general, the %DVs declared on nutritional labels can either involve simple math or be complicated. For example, a serving of fluid milk with 300 mg of calcium supplies 30% of its DV, while peanuts with 35 mg calcium provide 4% of its DV. Both use 1,000 mg/day as the Daily Value. For protein, you must also factor in how well it is used by our bodies. Fluid milk containing 8g protein in a serving supplies 16% of its DV; however, peanuts containing the same amount of protein in a serving supplies only 8% of its DV. PDCAAS is the way to measure the nutritional quality of a protein. Continue Reading

Changing Definitions
FDA is proposing significant changes to nutritional labels including redefining which carbohydrates can be declared as dietary fiber. This new definition would require proof the proposed carbohydrate demonstrates physiological benefits associated with dietary fiber. Until the carbohydrate is proven to have these benefits and is accepted by the agency, it would only be listed as a carbohydrate on the nutrition label. Once recognized by FDA as a dietary fiber, the label could then be adjusted to include this carbohydrate in the declared amount of dietary fiber. Continue Reading

Many of us are closely following with anticipation how the final rules for the FDA Nutrition Facts Panels will shape up. Speaking of final rules, FDA recently posted its annual regulatory agenda in which the agency provided insights on the status of various regulatory initiatives. As expected, the agenda affirms the agency’s commitment to completing rules related to food labeling. Without delays, FDA announced March 2016 as the date for final ruling. With the implementation of the ruling, over 700,000 food and beverage nutrition facts labels will need to meet new compliance standards. Continue Reading

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for family, friends, good health, and of course food. Lots of food! Most families have mastered the preparation of the main dishes, whether it’s through sacred family recipes, or certain family members preparing their signature dishes.  The traditional Thanksgiving staples of turkey, stuffing (a.k.a. dressing), and pie, while tasty and healthy in their own rights, are normally the main focus of the evening. As a change of pace, this year you might want to consider giving added attention to some of the traditional ingredients from the most important sections of the food pyramid: Fruits and Vegetables!  Continue Reading