IDFA’s senior Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Cary Frye will deliver oral testimony and submit comments at FDA’s September 27th public meeting to discuss horizontal approaches to modernizing standards of identity. Dairy products represent a third of the 280 federal food standards of identity, and these standards are significantly outdated and stand in the way of using new technologies, ingredients, and novel processes for dairy foods. A new approach is needed to allow dairy processors greater flexibility to create new nutritious and healthful products that meet consumer demands.
IDFA’s testimony will continue to urge FDA to consider the principles of the 2006 GMA petition. These six principals would accommodate many of the changes that the dairy and food industry are seeking in standards modernization such as:
- Addition of ingredients intended solely for technical, nondistinctive effects, such as emulsifiers, stabilizers, preservatives or the addition of mold inhibitors to all types of cheese;
- Use of safe and suitable flavors and flavor enhancers in foods; use of safe and suitable ingredients such as salt substitutes for lower sodium cheese, or non-nutritive sweeteners to make lower sugar flavored milks and yogurts;
- Use of advanced technologies to produce ingredients the finished food retains the essential characteristics of the standardized product, i.e. use of ultrafiltered and microfiltered milk in cheese making and other dairy products;
- Use of the “alternate make” procedures allowed in cheese to apply for all foods that would permit technologies other than heat treatment or “pasteurization” like high pressure processing used to prevent spoilage of milk products;
- Changes to product’s basic shape; and
- Improvements in nutritional properties that do not rise to the level of a defined nutrient content claim, such as being able to increase protein by grams rather than a minimum of 10% more than the daily value.