October 3, 2018

No Comments

Plant-based dairy food names & perceptions sought by FDA

Updating and understanding the names of plant-based dairy food alternatives continues FDA’s effort to modernize regulations.  FDA is gathering information on what it could use to regulate the names “soy milk”, “almond ice cream”, or “vegan mozzarella cheese”.

FDA posted a request for comments, surveys and data related to how consumers view and use alternatives to cow’s milk and related products.   The Federal Register announcement and accompanying press release demonstrate FDA’s concern about the nutrient differences between animal- and plant-based products.

The primary health concerns are based in potential nutrient deficiencies children may experience if dairy food alternatives are low or lacking key vitamins, minerals or essential amino acids. The FDA expressed concern that the USDA national database of food composition tables may be limited in characterizing the real world offerings of plant-based milks, yogurts and cheeses.

The FDA has 5 broad areas for information gathering. Consumer selection of dairy alternatives for “sustainability” and “animal husbandry” are not specifically called out. Rather, these concepts would fall under the broader umbrella of consumers choosing dairy alternatives for lifestyle reasons.

Federal Register text posted here

Comments accepted until 11/27/2018 for Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3522   https://www.regulations.gov



September 5, 2018

No Comments

Nominations open to 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Professionals are sought for federal committee to shape food and nutrition policies. USDA and the Department of Health & Human Services are seeking nominations for the committee developing the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  This committee is expected to start Fall 2018/Winter2019 and meet 5 times.  Its duties will be to establish more of a framework for federal nutrition programs, particularly the nutrient needs for pregnant women and children from birth to 24 months.

The role is an independent, science-based advisory role.  Historically the committee has had challenges finding industry-experienced experts.

Applications Due By: October 6, 2018

Pre-publication details announced in Federal Register. http://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-19302.pdf

Additional information about the Committee is available at

The September 5, 2018 USDA Press Release, titled “Nominations now open for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee”, is posted at


May 9, 2018

No Comments

Federal Organic and GMO labeling rules proposed by USDA


The United States Department of Agriculture released its proposed rules for declaring “bio-engineered food ingredient” content on most foods that are not organically certified. The required disclosure will a federally mandated message rather than a warning, as is the case of with high risk products.


Industry and consumers only have until July 3, 2018 to make comments to the proposed rules–with no hope of an extension. USDA has set compliance dates to coincide with the FDA’s new nutrition facts and supplement facts label updates: January 1, 2020 (or 2021 for small manufacturers).


Comments are requested by the USDA regarding which disclosures are most suitable and if “TWO pre-approved lists of agricultural crops” make the most practical sense for designation of “b-e” foods and “b-e” food ingredients. The lists would be updated periodically and USDA is seeking comments on this practicality, too.


Comments may be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking portal www.regulations.gov beginning Friday May 4. Comments may also be filed with the Docket Clerk, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 4543-South, Washington, DC 20250; Fax: (202) 690-0338.

The deadline for comments is July 3, 2018


The USDA is proposing disclosures on packages –similar to the National Organic Program regulations–in the form of:

  1. logos,
  2. phone numbers that may receive text messages,
  3. electronic codes, or
  4. a designated phrase

The disclosure will not use the popular terms “Genetically Modified Organism” or “GMO”. Rather the USDA believes “bio-engineered” is a more realistic  term to comply to the law signed in 2016. This was the federal law enacted to avert a state-by-state patchwork of GMO-labeling laws.



The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Law was enacted by Congress on July 29, 2016. The proposed rule previewed in the May 3, Federal Register.

August 23, 2016

No Comments

Lawsuit Against General Mills Advances Over Cheerios Protein Cereal

A federal judge has ruled that General Mills, Minneapolis, must face a lawsuit claiming it misled consumers by marketing Cheerios Protein cereal as a high-protein alternative to regular Cheerios, when the main difference was that it contained 17 times more sugar per serving. Reports last week note that a motion put forth by General Mills to dismiss the matter involving the marketing of Cheerios Protein has been denied in part, leaving the company open to a future lawsuit.

Source: Lawsuit Against General Mills Advances Over Cheerios Protein Cereal

August 22, 2016

No Comments

Chobani urges court to toss false advertising suit

A false advertising lawsuit alleging that Chobani’s labels are confusing and deceptive, paints American consumers as credulous fools unable to apply common sense when they go shopping, argues the yogurt maker in court documents urging the judge to toss the case.

Even national brands, get it wrong. The FDA, FTC and more importantly, the lawyers, find it easy to bring suit when you say ZERO.  In generally be very cautious with superlatives like none, zero, all, pure, and the like.

Source: Chobani urges court to toss false advertising suit

July 28, 2016

No Comments

Nutrition Facts Panels are now “Labels”

With the new FDA regulations, the term “panels” is out and the term “labels” are in.


Old TermNew Term
Nutrition facts panelsNutrition facts labels
Supplement facts panelsSupplement facts labels

This means the abbreviations NFP becomes NFL — not to be confused with Football !!!! And SFP becomes SFL


July 28, 2016

No Comments

FDA Regulations now fully updated.

The most current Nutrition Facts (21CFR101.9) and Supplement Facts (21CFR101.36) (panel) label regulations are now integrated with the previous regulations as an electronic-CFR webpage. This posting is current as of July 26, 2016…and beats reading the Federal Register.


Go to:  Electronic Code of Federal Regulation – Title 21 – Food and Drugs


September 18, 2014

No Comments

5th Annual Chapman University Food Entrepreneur Workshop

This program is excellent for anyone wanting to bring a food product to market:     ‘From Recipe to Retail”

Please share the information below with your network….$250 for TWO days of presentations by consultants and experts.

Chapman University Food Entrepreneur Workshop

June 26, 2014

No Comments

Debra Topham in the Los Angeles Times: Science Behind Nutrition: Careers in giving food more substance

This article, written by Joe Yogerst, originally appeared on the Los Angeles Times website.

With job prospects in food science expected to grow 10% over the next six years according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Chapman University is helping to meet this demand by offering a master of science in food science.


At Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology, faculty and graduate students are confronting food and nutrition related issues head on. “Gaps — and their related opportunities — exist across the food industry for improving food safety, consumer health awareness and manufacturing efficiencies,” said Debra Topham, a food science instructor at Schmid.


Recent advances in the field for making food more nutritious include new versions of nutrient additives such as vitamin D and, in particular, one called Sunshine Vitamin that is water-soluble, rather than fat-soluble, and ideal for water-based foods like fruit juices and flavored beverages. It’s an innovative way to deliver a vitamin people used to get from the sun.

MORE:  http://blogs.chapman.edu/scst/2014/06/26/science-behind-nutrition-careers/

February 27, 2014

No Comments

FDA CFSAN – Proposed Updates to Nutrition Facts Label

The next generation of nutrition panels has been announced.

FDA and the White House are proposing changes that will affect foods and dietary supplements.  Not only the nutrition panel formats will change but also how a serving size or nutrients are calculated.


What happens next?


  • Companies should read the proposals and comments entered at regulations.gov
  • FDA is collating comments and may or may not revise proposed regulations.
  • Organize your workflow so you have a plan of action when the revisions are likely posted March 2016.  How long will it take you to change your labels by 2018?


My advice?


  • Don’t buy more than 1 year’s worth of labels
  • Don’t make changes to your labels as yet…things can/will change!
  • Start investigating how much ADDED sugar you put in your products—including the fruit juice concentrates!
  • Start looking at conversions of Vitamins A, D, and E from international units to micrograms (mcg)
  • Start checking for potassium content—especially in fruit and vegetable bases as well as additives—but don’t start reformulating to add potassium synthetically especially in supplements
  • Evaluate if your sodium and fiber claims will hold should the new daily values take effect
  • Smile and check your crystal ball for miracles….

More to come…