Food and Health E-ssentials

Your regular update for technical and industry information

US FDA Commission clarifies “Added Sugar” labelling for maple syrup, honey

The Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement to help clarify the definition of “added sugars” in “packaged-as-such” products like honey or maple syrup.

Under the FDA’s new Nutrition Facts labelling requirements, producers are required to specify the amount of caloric sweeteners, such as sugar, honey and maple syrup, that have been added to a given product to enhance its natural sweetness. However, there has been confusion among producers who sell packaged-as-such versions of these sweeteners (for example, a bag of table sugar, a jar of honey or a container of maple syrup) regarding these requirements, since labelling such products as containing “added sugars” might mislead consumers.

In a statement released in early September, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb pointed to a draft guidance issued by his agency earlier this year that signals the Commission’s intent to allow the use of a symbol next to the “added sugars” declaration on their Nutrition Facts label, directing consumers to further information clarifying what “added sugars” actually means for these products. In addition, Gottleib notes a final version of this guidance will be issued in the coming months to assist producers of pure, single-ingredient, packaged-as-such products in developing Nutrition Facts labels that confirm with the labelling requirements while also minimising confusion among consumers.

The complete text of FDA Commissioner Gottlieb’s statement is available here.

Next Steps