Most everyone remembers the food pyramid from their grade school days (or even later in life), which was the visual cue issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Americans to use when making decisions regarding their dietary habits and choices. Unfortunately, the food pyramid marketing programs were so successful that most Americans still have not transitioned to the new USDA health program, MyPlate, which replaced the food pyramid program back in 2011. The food industry is partially to blame since many of the food labels making dietary guideline product claims continue to cite old vocabulary from the food pyramid days, for example “servings” of fruits and vegetables instead of “cups” from the new and improved MyPlate plan. Understanding how to apply the MyPlate criteria to produce properly is one clear way to communicate healthy eating choices to our growing population.

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Co-authored by Irene Chau

For anyone who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, the first dietary supplement you took was probably the Flintstones multivitamin. How many of you remember taking them and enjoying that fruity flavor? Our parents wanted to make sure we wouldn’t become deficient in the essential minerals and vitamins our bodies needed because we refused to eat the actual vegetables that were served with our meals. Boy, have things changed! Continue Reading

The summer season in the United States results in lots of time spent outdoors and on-the-go, with no shortage of snack foods in tow. However, unlike the snacks from past decades and all other prepared foods on the market, today’s products likely lack the artificial trans fats known as partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). PHOs have been a subject of controversy and confusion among consumers for the past several decades since their commercialization in the mid-twentieth century. Let’s briefly examine their sudden rise in the marketplace followed by their dramatic decline, resulting in the current regulatory ban on PHOs. Continue Reading

In the United States, two different regulatory organizations oversee food labeling for different product types. The first post in our blog series broke down which food products fall under the labeling jurisdiction for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as how the above affects a product’s statement of identity. Now that we’ve established that base, we will delve deeper into the various differences between USDA and FDA food labeling, from the way nutrition claims are handled to safe handling instructions and everything in between. Below are six essential differences between food labeling guidelines for the two regulatory bodies:

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It’s already been a month since the menu labeling compliance date of May 7, 2018 has passed! Can you believe it? Many restaurants and food service establishment teams are breathing a sigh of relief now that their menus are compliant, but do you know what you need to focus on next regarding menu labeling? To help shed some light on menu maintenance and future trends, read my responses to the 5 key questions you may have now that the compliance date has finally come and gone.

1) How is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcing these regulations? The FDA has said that they will be working with restaurants to make sure they are complying with menu labeling regulations accurately. However, it is unknown if the FDA will have an enforcement plan and charge fines for non-compliance in the future. Continue Reading

Food industry associations and consumer advocacy groups have influenced the development of many key U.S. food policies and regulations, but the impact of consumer lawsuits upon the regulatory process cannot be denied. Since 2008, the number of class action lawsuits filed against food and beverage companies has increased from approximately twenty to more than a hundred lawsuits annually in recent years. While some of the legal challenges could be dismissed as frivolous, several cases have fueled the evolution of significant labeling and safety regulatory initiatives that are now under consideration by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).    Continue Reading

Would mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labels or a symbol to designate a food as ‘Healthy,’ help curb the incidence of diet-related chronic diseases? Academic and industry research has shown that nutrition information on the front of food packages is more commonly viewed by American adult consumers than the Nutrition Facts panel, which is placed on the side or back of a package. The increased viewing of nutrition information is associated with healthier dietary patterns. While several countries are advancing regulations for front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labeling schemes, the future of a mandatory FOP system in the U.S. remains uncertain. Continue Reading

Biofortis is Mérieux NutriSciences’ global research organization serving innovation in food, nutrition, health, cosmetics and consumer goods. Every member of the Biofortis team plays an integral part in the success of the trials run. At the center of our projects coordinating the activities to ensure a smooth operation, is Linda Derrig, Director of Clinical Project and Data Management. I recently spoke with Linda to ask her about her background, her role at Biofortis and her outlook on the future of innovation in the nutrition field. Continue Reading