“The constantly evolving food industry requires new and updated resources that are valuable not only to set common grounds for food trade, but also for the evaluation of food integrity and safety,” said Gabriel Giancaspro, vice-president for foods, dietary supplements and herbal medicines at USP. “That is why USP is committed to developing new quality standards and guidances for food ingredients. We encourage our stakeholders to send comments and contributions on these proposals because their participation is critical for these tools to acquire the relevancy that the ever growing food supply chain needs.”
Among the standards proposed is Advantame, a new sweetener derived from aspartame and vanillin that is approximately 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar and about 100 times sweeter than aspartame alone. “Because it is more stable than aspartame at high temperatures, Advantame is potentially a better candidate for use in baked goods,” said Giancaspro.
Another proposed standard is Beta Glucan from Oat Bran. Beta-glucans—from barley and oats—have long been linked to health benefits related to the reduction to and/or maintenance of normal cholesterol levels (http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=101.81). Beta-glucan from oat bran has been Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 for use in a variety of food categories, including bars, yogurt, breakfast cereals, sauces, soups, cookies and crackers (http://www.fda.gov/ucm/groups/fdagov-public/@fdagov-foods-gen/documents/document/ucm316626.pdf).
Also open for public comment is a guidance standard for adulterants in milk ingredients, which screens for 41 potential nitrogen-containing adulterants. Nitrogen-containing ingredients added to milk are the most common form of adulteration with the fraudulent intent of increasing apparent protein content in milk ingredients. “The method proposed in this standard is capable of detecting very small amounts of suspected adulterants in bulk ingredients. Suspicious samples should still be referred to confirmatory tests,” explained Giancaspro.
USP’s Food Chemicals Codex Forum is a free, online tool for public review of draft quality standards for food ingredients. The latest proposals are available and open for comment from industry, regulators, academia and other interested parties for a 90-day period, continuing through September 30, 2014.