April 4, 2017

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Nutrition Label Training – Wednesday April 26th

New Nutrition Label Training – Wednesday April 26th 2017

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April 26, 2017

 Nutrition Facts  9am 12noon  ($385)

Supplement Facts  1:303:30pm  ($285)

  Location:  Food Microbiological Laboratories

10653 Progress Way, Cypress, CA 90630


These two sessions present the new US FDA regulations for food and supplement nutrition panels. Back-of-pack text changes will be at the front of customer inquiries, enforcement, and potential litigation for millions of USA products. Learn through hands-on demos and relevant case studies!  See what lies ahead of you to meet the July 26, 2018 or 2019 deadlines when the labels must be rightly applied on packages!


WHAT      you must do to comply with the new FDA regulations

HOW        to choose the most appropriate nutrition facts display

WHO        you need to talk to in your supply chain to get right details

Registration fee includes

B&W handouts of presentation slides with worksheets & reference materials.

Ask about professional contact hours for Certified Food Scientists!

Registration is limited to (12) twelve attendees per session.

Register at: http://knowledge-bank.net/training/

If you attend both sessions, please note lunch is not provided.


For additional questions, call Philip Topham @  (657) 464.3834 or contact via email at clientservices at knowledge-bank.net


Presented by Debra KW Topham, MS, CNS, CFS

Knowledge Bank provides “health checkups” for food and supplement labels to comply with FDA, USDA, and FTC regulations. Debra is the Director and 30-year veteran with Fresh&Easy Neighborhood Market, Nutrilite, and now the upcoming software launch of ReviewQ.



May 5, 2017

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a single Cacao Pod picture

Fair Trade – Ethical Label Claims

What does it mean to be fair trade?

You can test your own understanding of fair trade.  Look at the four logos below from Fair for Life, Fair Trade USA,Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance . What is their percentage of ethical ingredients? If you need to cheat and see the answers…here’s the original Washington Post comparison “Your ethical chocolate might be only 20 percent ‘ethical’” .

Fair for Life LogoFairtrade International logoRainforest Alliance Certified Logo

Knowledge Bank’s take:  Providing consumers with choices that align to their food philosophies is just good business.  Certifications are good, but understand your risks.    Make sure your marketing team and more broadly your customers understand what the certifications mean.  Align and harmonize your romance copy to the certification’s meaning and not what you might think it might mean.  Ensure you have systems in place to document and manage your supply chain.


May 5, 2017

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Snail racing to finish line

Restaurant Nutrition Labeling Deadline Extended

Steady but sure…

Restaurant labeling deadline to be extended. “In the Federal Register of December 30, 2016, we [FDA] stated that the compliance date for the final rule would be May 5, 2017. We are extending the compliance date to May 7, 2018. We are taking this action to enable us to consider how we might further reduce the regulatory burden or increase flexibility while continuing to achieve our regulatory objectives, in keeping with the Administration’s policies.”

When you read the May 4th 2017 Federal Register, you might think you have a reprieve and you do!  But don’t lose sight, that you will eventually need to cross the finish line. You will need to provide your restaurant customers with nutritional information.

Marketers know consumers need good information to make informed decisions about their food and health.  Take the reprieve to hone your systems. Start (if you haven’t already) providing nutritional information.  Then just update your format when the final ruling goes into effect.

See also:

April 24, 2017

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Gummy Bears for Article on Synthetic Dyes

Synthetic Dyes In Foods – The Next Prop 65

Once again California is proposing far reaching legislation. Senate Bill 504 on synthetic dyes in foods would impact the entire industry just like California Proposition 65.

State Senator Bob Wieckowski, a Democrat, introduced California SB 504, a bill that would require warning labels on all food containing synthetic dyes, including those sold in restaurants. If passed, the law would be the first of its kind in any state.

The FDA regulates color additives (including synthetic dyes and natural food dyes) to ensure they are safe. Which essentially means –  “there is convincing evidence that establishes with reasonable certainty that no harm will result from the intended use of the color additive” 21 §70.3 Color Additives Definitions.




For far too long, the Food and Drug Administration has failed to protect families from Red 40, Yellow 5, and the other synthetic dyes that color America’s food supply. Considering that some children clearly are adversely affected by dyes and that dyes play only a cosmetic role in food, the FDA should phase them out altogether


So, the Senator along Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), co-sponsor of the bill.  “…hope California enacts the sensible and science-based legislation being introduced today, as long as the FDA is going to remain firmly planted on the sidelines, it makes perfect sense for California and other states to protect kids and their families from synthetic dyes.”


April 24, 2017

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Food Label Choices

2017 Food Label Insight Shopper Report

In March of 2017, Label Insight surveyed more than 1,000 consumers about their dietary preferences, the food label, and their ability to find information they need to make informed purchasing decisions. The report is available for free download. Key findings include: 98% of consumers believe it’s important for them to consider the food label ingredients inRead more

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Key findings include:

  • 98% of consumers believe it’s important for them to consider the food label ingredients in the products they buy.
  • Nearly half of consumers are currently following a diet program.
  • 67% find it challenging to determine whether a food product meets their needs by reviewing the food label.
  • Nearly half of consumers consider themselves to be “not informed at all about the product” even after reading the food label.




Knowledge Bank’s opinion:  The report shows us that brands have a great opportunity to get better.  Consumers are confused. Companies are using terms like non-GMO and organic, that are confusing to consumers.   Consumers think these terms have one meaning but in reality they mean something else —  see also The Truth about Food Label Claims.

Since companies already have to change their labels for the new nutrition facts regulations  (see FDA Finalizes new Nutrition label rules) companies have an opportunity to recraft their labels with clearer messages at the same time.


March 31, 2017

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The Truth about Food Label Claims

Food Navigator, alerted us to this report on food label claims created by Kynetec and commissioned by the Enough Movement a group focused on creating practical solutions for a food-secure world.

The report highlights that the consumers are very confused about label claims.

For example, those who purchase organic food thinks organic is healthier, more nutritious, better for the environment and safer to eat. Wow! Does this mean marketers have succeeded or have they failed? What do you think?

Chart - what do consumers think Organic label claims mean?

Organic vs. Non-Organic Purchasers (Source)

Consumers are confused about Local, Organic, Natural, No Antibiotics, Free Range, Hormone Free amongst others.

Truth about food label claims. Local. Organic. Natural. No Antibiotics. Free-Range. No Hormones Added.

Knowledge Banks take:   Manage your brand reputation by evaluating your labels and labeling. The FDA’s position and guidance says food labels and particularly their label claims, need to be clear and not misleading.  With evidence, like this report, that consumers are confused about common terms, then it’s important to explain and educate consumers so they are not confused nor mislead.

March 29, 2017

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Sports Bean by Jelly Belly food label

Food label lawsuit – Jelly Belly hit for “Evaporated Cane Juice”

Once again the food label matters; ingredient names matter; word choice matters.

Law360, March 28, 2017 — reports that “Jelly Belly Mislabeled Its Sport Beans Candy”

A group of consumers have hit Jelly Belly Candy Co. with a proposed class action alleging it deceptively labeled its Sport Beans candy products as containing “evaporated cane juice” instead of sugar after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the phrase was misleading. The suit was filed in San Bernardino California.

Knowledge Bank’s take – First, always consult your lawyer on legal matters.  Second, evaluate each food label to determine if you are using the term “Evaporated Cane Juice” and understand your situation.  Third, if needed, develop your action plan.

As we previously posted, the FDA has been clear. The FDA says labeling sugar as evaporated cane juice ” is false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is fruit or vegetable juice or is made from fruit or vegetable juice, and does not reveal that the ingredient’s basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.”


March 23, 2017

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image of several harvested mushrooms

Labeling guidance for mushrooms.

The American Herbal Products Association recently adopted and published AHPA’s Fungi Product Labeling Guidance. The labeling guidance becomes effective March 9, 2019, though marketers may choose to apply the labeling guidance at any time.

KnowledgeBank’s view: Trade organizations will increasingly provide labeling guidance. Trade groups do this for many reasons:  to strengthen their industry, promote good practices such providing transparent information to the consumer and – last but not least – head-off imposed regulation. We can expect more guidance from existing and emerging trade organizations. 

AHPA’s announcment:  The guidance provides information to assist in compliance with current label regulations by including the common or usual name and the parts or stages of each fungi ingredient, and by listing ingredients in order of predominance by weight. In addition, under the guidance if the word “mushroom” appears on the label’s principal display panel, other than in the marketer’s company name, the parts of the fungal dietary ingredients in the product are voluntarily identified, e.g. “mushroom mycelium,” “mushroom spore.”

March 22, 2017

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FDA & Industry Dietary Supplements Seminar – May 10th – Bethesda

The FDA along with industry are hosting a one day seminar on Dietary supplements.  Topics include:

  • New Dietary Ingredients
  • Adverse Event Reporting,
  • FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act)
  • GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices)
  • Hold Notifications

For the complete agenda see PDF.

logo for American Herbal Products Association

logo for Consumer healthcare products association

logo for Center for Responsible Nutrition

logo for United Natural Products Alliance

United Natural Products Alliance

March 21, 2017

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Image of Corn a source of High-Amylose Maize Resistant Starch used by new qualified health claim

Getting FDA approval for a qualified health claim

The following article is reprinted with permission; and provides an overview of the clinical trial research necessary to make a qualified health claim on front of food package labeling.   Companies needing a competitive edge must conduct rigorous studies to get a qualified health claim approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

High-Amylose Maize Resistant Starch Health Claim Approved for Type 2 Diabetes 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a qualified health claim which will enable food companies to include messaging on the packaging of products which contain high-amylose maize resistant starch (HAM-RS). Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by insulin resistance which, over time, leads to exhaustion of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Substantiation of the qualified health claim was supported by eight clinical trials, one of which was completed by members of the MB Clinical Research team. In this study, overweight and obese participants (11 men and 22 women) were randomly assigned to received either 0 (control), 15, or 30 g/d HAM-RS for four-week periods, separated by a three-week washout. In men, insulin sensitivity increased with daily intake of 15 and 30 g/d HAM-RS, relative to the control (48% and 56%, respectively, p <0.05 for both vs. control). However, there were no significant differences in insulin sensitivity for women, relative to control. The FDA concluded that the totality of the evidence supports the following claims:

“High-amylose maize resistant starch may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence for this claim.”

“High-amylose maize resistant starch, a type of fiber, may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence for this claim.”

Comment: We are hopeful that the approval of this qualified health claim will stimulate more research evaluating the effects of fermentable dietary fibers on carbohydrate metabolism. There is consistent evidence from observational studies that indicate higher consumption of certain fibers, especially cereal fibers, is associated with lower risks for metabolic syndrome and T2D. Research is needed to more clearly define the characteristics of dietary fibers that are associated with these benefits and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Based on our work and that of others, we hypothesize the liberation of short-chain fatty acids during fermentation of HAM-RS is a mechanism for enhanced insulin sensitivity. Other mechanisms may be important as well, particularly alterations in the microbiome.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration. RE: Petition for a Health Claim for High-Amylose Maize Starch (Containing Type-2 Resistant Starch) and Reduced Risk Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (Docket Number FDA-2015-Q-2352-0023), December 12, 2016.


Maki KC, Pelkman CL, Finocchiaro ET, Kelley KM, Lawless AL, Schild AL, Rains TM. Resistant starch from high-amylose maize increases insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men.  J Nutr 2012;142:717-23.