FDA to Allow Higher Levels of Vitamin D in Most Cheeses
In response to a petition filed by Kraft Foods, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a final rule last week that allows most cheeses to be fortified with enough vitamin D to be eligible to make the labeling claim "excellent source of vitamin D." IDFA applauded the agency's action and encouraged cheesemakers to take advantage of this new allowance.
"By fortifying up to the new limit, cheesemakers will have one more great way to market the nutritional benefits of cheese," noted IDFA Manager of Regulatory Affairs Michelle Albee Matto, R.D. "There is a lot of attention being paid to vitamin D by the health community, and the fact is, many Americans don't get enough of this nutrient in their diets. Research indicates that adequate intake can help prevent a variety of diseases, including rickets, osteoporosis, gum disease and even certain types of cancer."
FDA's new regulation states that companies must use only one type of vitamin D, known as vitamin D3, for the higher fortification. Specifically, the final rule allows cheeses to be fortified with up to 81 International Units of vitamin D3 per each 30 gram serving of cheese, an increase of more than 250% over the previously allowable limit. Since this new upper limit provides 20% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, a cheese that adds the maximum levels of vitamin D3 will be allowed to claim that it is an "excellent source of vitamin D."
FDA's decision applies to most cheeses, but specifically excludes cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and hard grating cheeses, such as parmesan and romano.
To read the final rule issued by FDA, click here. (.pdf) Members with questions can contact Michelle Albee Matto at email@example.com, 202/220-3523.
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Posted November 21, 2005