Fruit purees offer solution for FDA’s ‘Added Sugar’ hurdle

Fruit purees are emerging as a viable solution for US food companies as they work towards complying with new rules on the labelling of sugar.

The FDA introduced new labelling regulations in 2016 with a compliance date of January 1, 2020. The soon-to-be-implemented rules will mean that manufacturers and brands will be required to declare ‘added sugar’ in addition to the standard total sugars on nutrition facts panels – even if some of those sugars are added by way of fruit juice powders or concentrates.

The change is forcing businesses to re-think how they formulate their products, in order to avoid the negative perception associated with added sugar.

Welch’s Global Ingredients has introduced fruit purees as a viable solution. Purees are not included in the definition of added sugar and therefore the fruit sugars naturally present in purees only need to be included in the total sugars declaration.

“Purees deliver natural sweetness, but their sugar content isn’t considered to be added sugar by FDA,” said Kevin Kilcoyne, vice president and general manager at Welch’s Global Ingredients Group. “This means they offer a good option for food companies who prefer not to see added sugar on their nutrition facts panels or wish to minimise the amount of added sugars they are obliged to declare.”

Manufacturers will still be able to use fruit juice concentrates or powders. However, they will need to declare some of the sugar contributed by these ingredients as added sugar, depending on the final application. FDA regulations stipulate that the portion of sugar above what would normally be found in an equivalent volume of 100% juice must be labelled as added sugar. The calculations involved in establishing this often need to be carried out manually – a cumbersome and costly process. Using purees and puree concentrates means companies can avoid this extra burden.

Welch’s supplies Concord grape puree, which is purple, and Niagara grape puree, which is golden in colour, with both produced from fruit grown in the US. They are non-GMO, gluten free, and available as organic.

Fruit purees from Welch’s are suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including confectionery, baking, snacks, sauces, cereals and baby food.

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