Do sugars found in fruits and vegetables that have been processed to change the form of the fruit or vegetable (e.g., concentrated fruit and vegetable purees, fruit and vegetable pastes, and fruit and vegetable powders) need to be declared as added sugars on the label?

1.55K viewsFood Safety
0

In the Nutrition Facts label final rule (81 FR 33742 at 33833), we excluded whole fruit, fruit
pieces, dried fruit, pulps, and purees because they are nutrient rich and maintain the basic
properties of a fruit when added to foods, which are not considered to contain added sugars
(see response to comment 208 on p. 33835). We also excluded sugars from 100 percent fruit
and vegetable juices, and sugars from certain fruit and vegetable juice concentrates used
towards the total juice percentage label declaration under certain regulations, fruit juice
concentrates used to formulate the fruit component of jellies, jams, and preserves under our
standards of identity, and 100 percent juice concentrate sold directly to consumers (e.g.
frozen orange juice concentrate).
In the preamble to the Nutrition Facts final rule (81 FR 33742 at 33833 through 33834), we
explained that, while foods sweetened with concentrated fruit or vegetable juices can be a
part of a healthful diet, the sugars added to the foods by the concentrated fruit or vegetable
juice provide additional calories. Over the course of the day, small amounts of calories in
sugar-sweetened foods and beverages can add up and make it difficult to balance the amount
of calories expended. For these reasons, we consider foods sweetened with concentrated
fruit or vegetable juices to be sugar-sweetened foods.
We also explained that in determining which sugars should be included in the definition of
added sugars, we have considered the presence of added sugars as a component of dietary
intake and whether it is consistent with the concept of empty calories, as discussed in the
2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report (Ref. 1) (81 FR 33742 at
33835).
We are applying these same guiding principles just discussed when determining when the
sugars in an ingredient are added sugars. If the ingredient contains all of the components of a
whole fruit or vegetable, but has been processed so that the plant material is physically
broken down into smaller pieces or water is removed, we would not consider the sugars
contributed from the portion of the fruit or vegetable that is typically eaten which is used to
make such an ingredient to be added sugars. However, if a fruit or vegetable is processed in
such a way that it no longer contains all of the components of the portion of a whole fruit or
vegetable that is typically eaten (e.g., the pulp from the fruit has been removed) and the
sugars have been concentrated, the sugars in such an ingredient are consistent with how we
have considered the sugars in fruit juice concentrate because the ingredient is a concentrated
source of sugars and contributes additional calories to a food when added as an ingredient
without additional water. Manufacturers may use different terminology in reference to the
same or similar ingredients (e.g. concentrated puree or paste) or they may use the same
terminology in reference to similar ingredients (e.g. a fruit powder made by extracting and
dehydrating the juice of the fruit versus a fruit powder made by pulverizing a dehydrated
whole fruit). For this reason, manufacturers should consider whether the ingredient has been
processed so that it no longer contains all of the components of the original portion of the
whole fruit or vegetable that is typically eaten in addition to being concentrated. If sugars are
in excess of what would be expected from an ingredient made from 100 percent fruits or
vegetables, those sugars must be declared as added sugars (21 CFR 101.9(c)(6)(iii)). To the
extent that manufacturers are processing different ingredients made from whole fruits or
vegetables, we would need to consider specific information about how an individual
ingredient has been processed when determining if the sugars meet our definition of added
sugars for the purpose of nutrition labeling.