F.D.A. to consider chocolate standard changes

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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BURLINGAME, CALIF. — The Food and Drug Administration is considering content standard changes for America’s chocolate.

The proposed changes would alter the federal standards of identity for chocolate products, allowing for the substitution of vegetable fats for traditional cocoa butter and milk substitutes instead of genuine milk products. If approved, products using the substitutions could still be labeled "chocolate."

The Grocery Manufacturers Association proposed the changes representing trade associations, including the U.S. Chocolate Manufacturers Association, in a citizen’s petition to the F.D.A. The F.D.A. is accepting public comments until April 25.

Some in the chocolate industry are resisting the possible changes.

"The citizen’s petition proposed to F.D.A. by the Grocery Manufacturers Association has many good points as it pertains to other foods, but if adopted it would allow the current ‘gold standard’ for chocolate to be changed in a way that will ultimately result in short-changing the consumer and changing what we know and love as traditional chocolate," said Gary Guittard, president of Guittard Chocolate Co. of Burlingame. "There are no clear consumer benefits associated with the proposed changes."

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