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

Published in late September to coincide with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the proposed ruleUpdates the criteria for ‘healthy’ nutrient content claims on food labels, and for the first time restrictions the amount of added sugar firms can include in products bearing the claim (see box below).

The deadline for comments is February 16, 2023, with commentsThus far largely coming from individuals, with most trade associations and large food companies taking more time to formulate a formal response. However, some industry stakeholders have begun to weigh in.

Karl Zimmer, chairman of the United States Peanut Federation, noted that many peanut butters (including market leaders Jif and Skippy)have a small amount of added sugar for palatabilityAnd as such may not meet the criteria set by the FDA (although the agency has said it may “adjust the baseline values ​​for added sugars as warranted, based on specific considerations of the 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 in the ‘Individual Foods: Protein Food Products’ category and would be excluded from the ‘healthy’ definition due to the addition of a small amount of sugar in conventional peanut butter products.

“We propose that the added sugar limit for peanut butter be consistent with the limits placed on dairy products, such as yogurt, which is less than 5% of the RACC in the current proposed rule.”


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