The Food and Drug Administration released May 25 a final guidance for industry stating the agency’s view that sweeteners derived from sugar cane should not be declared on food labels as “evaporated cane juice.” The FDA views this term to be false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is or is made from fruit or vegetable juice and does not reveal that the ingredient’s basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.

Instead, the guidance recommends that ingredients currently labeled as “evaporated cane juice” be relabeled to use the term “sugar,” optionally accompanied by a truthful, non-misleading descriptor to distinguish the ingredient from other cane-based sweeteners. The FDA encourages firms that market sugar cane-derived sweeteners or products that contain them to review this guidance and consider whether their labeling terminology accurately describes the basic nature and characterizing properties of the sweetener used. The FDA states that it would not object to the use of stickers to make any needed change until the next regularly scheduled label printing.


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