NEW EU FRUIT JUICE LABELING RULES

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Posted on: 19 Jun 2012

New EU rules for the labeling of fruit juices and fruit nectars are being introduced by Directive 2012/12/EU.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 5/31/2012 GAIN Report Number: E70022 EU-27 Post: Brussels USEU NEW EU FRUIT JUICE LABELING RULES Report Categories: FAIRS Subject Report Approved By: Cynthia Guven Prepared By: Hilde Brans Report Highlights: New EU rules for the labeling of fruit juices and fruit nectars are being introduced by Directive 2012/12/EU. The new rules also apply to imports of fruit juices and similar products from the U.S. This report provides an overview of the main changes introduced by the new directive. General Information: NEW EU RULES ON FRUIT JUICE LABELING SCOPE Directive 2012/12/EU establishing new labeling rules for fruit juices and fruit nectars was published on April 27, 2012 in Official Journal L 115. This directive amends Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption. The new rules also apply to imports of fruit juices and similar products from the U.S. This report provides an overview of the main changes introduced by the new directive. FRUIT JUICES The new directive introduces a requirement that the composition of the juice should be clearly reflected in the product name. The product name of mixed juices must be composed of a list of the fruits used (except for lemon and/or lime juice used to regulate the acidic taste), in descending order of the volume of the fruit juices or purees included, as indicated in the list of ingredients. For example, a mixture of 90% apple juice and 10% raspberry juice must be called “apple-raspberry” juice. This new labeling requirement also means that orange juice to which a small volume of mandarin juice has been added to improve the color and flavor should be called “orange-mandarin juice”. Pictures that may be misleading, for example pictures of only raspberries on an apple-raspberry juice, are not allowed. On juices produced from three or more fruits the indication of the different fruits used may be replaced by the words “several fruits” or a similar wording or by the number of the fruits used. “NO ADDED SUGAR” CLAIM The new directive incorporates the current industry practice of not adding sugar to fruit juices. Since the addition of sugars was previously allowed, food business operators would use the nutrition claim “with no added sugars” - as listed in the Annex to the EU’s Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation 1924/2006 - to highlight the absence of added sugars. Under the new rules, after a transitional period of 18 months after the date of application, the addition of sugars to fruit juices and consequently the “with no added sugars” claim will no longer be allowed. For fruit nectars, added sugar must be labeled in accordance with the EU’s labeling directive 2000/13/EC. A claim stating that sugars have not been added to fruit nectars or any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer may only be made if the product does not contain any added mono- or disaccharides or any other food used for its sweetening purposes, including sweeteners as defined in the EU’s food additives regulation 1333/2008. If sugars are naturally present in fruit nectar, the following indication should appear on the label: “contains naturally occurring sugars”. In order to allow the industry sufficient time to inform consumers properly about the distinction between fruit juices and fruit nectars in terms of the addition of sugars, the directive provides that until October 28, 2016, the statement “from 28 October 2015 no fruit juices contain added sugars” may appear on the label. DATE OF APPLICATION This new piece of legislation is a “directive” which means that Member States have to adopt national laws to comply with the new rules. Member States have until October 28, 2013 to transpose the provisions of this directive into national law. Products which are placed on the market or labeled before October 28, 2013 in accordance with Directive 2001/112/EC may continue to be marketed until April 28, 2015.
Posted: 19 June 2012

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