Most peanut butter would not qualify for ‘healthy’ claim under FDA’s new proposed rule, says Peanut Federation

Released in late September to coincide with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. suggested ruleupdates criteria for ‘healthy’ nutrient content claims on food labels and for the first time limits the amount of added sugar that companies can add to products that make this claim (see box below).

Deadline for comments is February 16, 2023, commentsSo far it has come largely from individuals, with most trade associations and large food companies taking more time to formulate a formal response. However, some industry stakeholders began to weigh in.

Karl Zimmer, president of the United States Peanut Federation, states that many peanut butters (including market leaders Jif and Skippy)​ ​little added sugar for flavor​“ and therefore may not meet the criteria set by the FDA (agency, “Adjust baseline values ​​for added sugars as warranted, based on specific assessments of different food groups and subgroups”).​ ​

Zimmer added: “Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats and contains high levels of arginine, an amino acid that can aid in proper growth and development. Under the current proposed rule, peanut butter falls under the category of ‘Individual Foods: Protein Foods’ and will be excluded from the definition of ‘healthy’ due to the small amount of sugar added to traditional peanut butter products.​ ​

“We recommend that the added sugar limit for peanut butter be consistent with the limits set in the current recommended rule for dairy products such as yogurt, which are less than 5% of the RACC.”​ ​

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