The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a
September 2016 Consumer Update describing how to determine if a
product contains real maple syrup as a flavoring agent. Specifically, the
agency urges consumers to look at the ingredient list for the term “maple
syrup” and not rely solely on depictions of maple leaves or the word
“maple” displayed on the front of packaging.

“Current regulations allow use of terms like ‘maple,’ ‘maple-flavored,’ or
‘artificially maple-flavored’ on the food label without having any maple
syrup in the product, as long as it contains maple flavoring,” clarifies
FDA. “This flavoring could come from a number of sources, including sap
or bark from the maple tree. Or it could come from the herb fenugreek,
which can impart a maple-like flavor.”

Noting that similar rules apply to some fruit flavorings, the agency
explains that terms such as “artificial flavors” or “natural and artificial
flavors” indicate “that the original source of the flavor may not have been
used in the food.” As the Director of FDA’s Office of Nutrition and Food
Labeling Douglas Balentine states, “Ultimately we want consumers to
be able to make informed choices about their foods, and FDA’s job is to
make sure consumers know what they’re getting.”


Issue 618

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.