FDA Allows More Fresh Fruits & Vegetables to Bear Health Claims

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is amending a regulation that authorizes a health claim on the relationship between dietary saturated fat and cholesterol and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) to expand the use of the claim to certain raw fruits and vegetables that were previously ineligible to make the claim.

To make a claim regarding the relationship between dietary saturated fat and cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease a food must typically, among other requirements, contain a certain amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein, or fiber and meet the definitions of a “low saturated fat,” “low fat” and “low cholesterol” food.

Some fruits and vegetables had been ineligible to bear the claim because they do not meet the health claim requirements for containing a minimum amount of certain nutrients and/or they do not meet the definition of a “low fat” food. For example, grapes, plums, beets, and cucumbers do not contain the threshold levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein, or fiber and avocados do not meet the requirement for “low fat.”

In October 2012, the American Heart Association (AHA) submitted a citizen petition asking the FDA to amend the existing regulation about health claims and the relationship between dietary saturated fat and cholesterol and risk of CHD. The agency responded to AHA’s petition by issuing an interim final rule to allow raw fruits and vegetables to make a claim that they reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The FDA is not amending the health claim requirements for frozen or canned vegetables at this time, but invites comment on the issue.

This interim final rule is effective immediately and has a 75-day comment period.

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Source: FDA

Article by Perishable News

US Vegetables Category Set To Experience Steady Growth By 2021, Driven By Fresh Produce

Albany, NY -- Fruit and vegetable processing industry has taken a new direction and is growing gradually with strong growth rate annually. Further factors such as rising consumer demand for fresh and healthy products that are easily available and need minimum preparation time are further fueling the market growth. A new study, titled "Vegetables - U.S. - May 2017" has been freshly added to the vast repository of Market Research Hub (MRH), which analyzes the overall U.S. market current scenario of vegetables and fruits, along with consumer's behavior which impacts the market positively. This study is a result of qualitative and quantitative research techniques that aim to drill down to the exact factors that are driving growth, restraining growth and creating new opportunities for growth.

As per the findings of a new study, the vegetable category has experienced stable growth over the past few decades, driven primarily by fresh vegetables and fresh-cut salad. Health concerns are the prime factor which has driven demand for fruits and vegetables as consumers look for healthier and more nutritious options for their diets. The fresh-cut segment has been able to profit as consumers believe fresh-cut is the healthiest format for processed fruits and vegetables. In line with growing health awareness and changing demographics, demand for fruits and vegetables is expected to increase in the long term.

Within the United States, fruit and vegetable production is a major business enterprise and mostly, it focuses on processed fruits and vegetables. Currently, this segment continues to make up a significant share of total fruit and vegetable consumption in the United States. Several types of processing such as drying, canning, freezing, and preparation of jams, juices, and jellies augment the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. The research finds that Vegetable sales grow 13% from 2011-16. As technology improved and consumer incomes increased, it became possible to provide fresh produce year-round. Factors such as income, aging of a population, market promotion, and consumer awareness of the importance of produce, contribute to increased fruit and vegetable consumption.

American consumers now expect fresh tomatoes, strawberries, and sweet corn every month of the year. In addition, a strong demand remains for processed fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable consumption has been shown to be an important part of any diet leading towards good health. As per the research study findings, consumers indicate more interest in vegetables that are fresh, nutritious and natural. Due to this, vegetables category estimated to experience steady growth into 2021, heavily driven by fresh produce. However, frozen produce contains just as many vitamins as fresh even if consumers perceive it differently.

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Vegetables emerge as the main offering in restaurant dishes and consumption of fresh vegetables similar to frozen and canned. It is a prime factor for the market growth. Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of vegetables, by segment, at current prices for the period 2011 to 2021 is also mentioned in the study.

Source: Market Research Hub

Article by Perishable News

Younger Consumers Drive Growth Of Vegetable Consumption; Boomers Not So Much

Younger Consumers Drive Growth Of Vegetable Consumption; Boomers Not So Much

The continual parental reminder to “eat your vegetables” stuck with Millennials and Gen Zs because they are driving the growth in fresh and frozen vegetable consumption, but many of the parents who offered the reminder are not eating theirs, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

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New Scientific Papers Highlight Importance Of Vegetables In Diets Of Children

McLean, VA - What role do vegetables play in meeting the nutritional needs of children? Do infants and toddlers consume enough vegetables to meet adequate energy and nutrient requirements for healthy growth and development? And if not, how can we ensure that very young children develop a taste for and reap the benefits of greater vegetable consumption?

Authors of a scientific supplement published today in the peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Nutrition, explore the state of the science on children's vegetable consumption and reinforce the important nutritive value provided by vegetables, especially potatoes, for infants and toddlers. The supplement identifies the research topics critical to developing evidence-based policies as the development of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) progresses--the first time the guidelines will include federal nutrition policy for infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months of age.

"Children in the 0-2 years age group have not been included in the DGAs previously, making this collection of research papers an important contribution to the scientific literature used in nutrition policy development," states Theresa A. Nicklas, DrPH, USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, one of the supplement's authors. "Research that helps us better understand children's vegetable consumption from birth through adolescence will ensure successful implementation of effective programs to increase consumption of all vegetables, including potatoes, to support healthy eating patterns throughout life." 

The January 2016 Advances in Nutrition supplement, "Science and Policy: Adopting a Fruitful Vegetable Encounter for Our Children," published by the American Society for Nutrition, features a foreword and seven papers by leading food and nutrition scientists on topics ranging from vegetable preference and acceptance by the very young to the physiology of how puberty can affect regulation of food intake.

Among the original studies presented in the supplement is an article by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Louisiana State University who conducted a complicated analysis using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the effect on children's potassium intake if potatoes were replaced with other vegetables. Since potatoes - with or without the skin - are a very rich source of potassium, the researchers conclude that replacing potatoes with other vegetables could reduce intake of this key nutrient. Another original research study by Alliance for Potato Research and Education scientists finds that children 1 to 3 years of age have excessive intakes of most nutrients, except potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin D. The study shows that children in this age group do not consume enough vegetables, including starchy vegetables such as potatoes.

The journal supplement is the outcome of a November 2014 Baylor College of Medicine invitational roundtable highlighting research in children's vegetable consumption. The forum was supported by an unrestricted grant by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding and translating the latest scientific research and information on potato nutrition, consumption and affordability.

The  Science and Policy: Adopting a Fruitful Vegetable Encounter for Our Children supplement is available from the Advances in Nutrition website.

The Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) is a not-for-profit organization 100% dedicated to expanding and translating scientific research into evidence-based policy and education initiatives that recognize the role of all forms of the potato-a nutritious vegetable-in promoting health for all age groups. APRE is actively building the science foundation concerning the nutritional benefits of the white potato; creating partnerships with critical health professional organizations in the United States and Canada; and educating dietitians and health professionals by providing them with the latest scientific research and information on potato nutrition, consumption, and affordability. APRE is a National Strategic Partner with USDA's MyPlate initiative. For more, visit

Source: Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE)

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