FDA guidance released last week instructs all food companies using evaporated cane juice to now disclose this ingredient as sugar. The guidance details the words most commonly used when defining cane juice.
In the recommendation, FDA explains that the term “evaporated cane juice” is false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is a fruit or a vegetable juice, or is made from vegetable juice, and does not reveal that the ingredient’s basic and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.
The guidance is to help consumers make informed decisions among sweeteners by promoting accurate and consistent labeling. According to regulation standards, “evaporated cane juice” is not the common name of any type of sweetener and food labels should now disclosed this ingredient as “sugar”, but that can be preceded by one or more “truthful, non-misleading descriptions” if the manufacturer so chooses. (e.g. “cane sugar”, “organic sugar”).
The FDA guidance document does not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. It does describe the current thinking on a topic and the recommendation for change, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. Therefore this recommendation is just that, recommended, but not required.