FDA clarifies rules over added sugar labeling on pure honey, maple syrup, cranberry, products

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Gettyimages-showcase
Picture: Gettyimages-showcase

Related tags Added sugar

Maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, and other sugars sold as single ingredients will not have to be listed as ‘added sugar’ on the Nutrition facts panel, according to final guidance issued by the FDA.

The FDA had initially proposed that such products should be listed as grams of added sugar, prompting an almost universally negative response from stakeholders, who argued that listing the sugar in a jar of honey or pure maple syrup as ‘added’ (even if there’s a statement of clarification nearby) would incorrectly imply that table sugar or other sugars have been added.

However, in final guidance​ published Tuesday, the FDA said it would exempt single-ingredient packages of pure honey, pure maple syrup, and other pure sugars and syrups, from bearing the words “Includes Xg Added Sugars”​ but said they must still include the percent Daily Value (DV) for added sugars on their labels.

Brands also have the option of using a ‘†’ symbol next to the %DV to lead the reader to a “truthful and not misleading statement within a footnote at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts label that includes a description of the gram amount of sugar added to the diet by one serving of the product and its contribution to the percent DV for added sugars in the diet.”

Dried cranberry products and cranberry beverage products must still declare added sugars in grams and declare the %DV for added sugars, said the FDA.  However, manufacturers may also use the ‘†’ symbol to direct consumers to a statement explaining that sugars are added to improve the palatability of naturally tart cranberries, provided they contain total sugars at levels no greater than comparable unsweetened fruit products such as unsweetened grape juice.      

Read the final guidance​ – which comes into effect on July 1, 2021.  

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