Top ten 2018 articles and Foodlawlatest.com achievements

Dear readers,

At the end of 2018, foodlawlatest.com ranked 2nd in the category Niche and Specialty niche_and_specialty_-_2nd_place_badgeLaw Blog in the blog contest launched by the Expert Institute.

Thank you for all your support and for your votes.

After 5 years of activity is time to give you some numbers.

This year we proudly served more than 100 clients, on 3 continents (EU, North America, Asia) and we gathered readers from more than 160 countries.

Our LinkedIn group, with much more info and updates, is now including more than 4.000 food professionals and we launched with success our first massive online webinar (on FDA labeling).

Just as we speak we are gathering subscriptions for the next webinar’s wave and soon there will be much more: guest speakers from around the world will introduce you to food law in the major markets (a hint: the 1st one will be on the upcoming new Chinese labeling legislation…). From fall 2018 I am as well guest instructor for online courses of the Michigan State University Institute for Food Laws and Regulations.

Now we are a team of 5 here in Torino’s office and we cover more than 60 markets through local partners and contractors. In 2019 we would like to scale up, refresh the website and publish more frequently, launch a YouTube channel and bring to the surface the huge network and the different skills that we might put on the plate when it comes to offer you a strategic advice in marketing food. Two major publications on food labeling (in English) are as well in the pipeline.

Between our major partners, I’d like already to quote (and thank for the great support and exchange of knowledge):

  • MoniQa: MoniQA is an international and interdisciplinary network of professionals from institutions working in food research, regulatory bodies and trade, providing solutions to promote a safer and secure food supply worldwide. The main focus of the association is on food allergen management and food fraud prevention and I sit in the Scientific Advisory Committee;
  • Arcadia International: Arcadia is a multi-disciplinary consultancy dedicated to the food and feed value chain and is also recognized as expert by several European Commission Directorate-Generals for agriculture and food related activities. In particular a mention goes to my great friend Francesco Montanari, food lawyer in Lisbon/Paris;
  • ShantallaJohn G. Keogh: Shantalla provides retainer-based advisory services and project-based research for clients in the public and private sectors globally, on topics like:
    • Strategy & Policy Advisory
    • Supply Chain Integrity incl. Traceability and Brand Protection
    • Product and Consumer Safety incl. Recall
    • Supply Chain Transparency & Consumer Trust
    • Sustainability, Compliance & Governance
    • Industry Standards (GS1)
    • Technology Advisory incl. IoT & Blockchain Use Cases

Coming back to our blog, the most read articles in 2018 – in case you missed them – were the following:

  1. EFSA – Consumer perceptions of emerging risks in the food chain
  2. Food fraud update at EU level and Interpol/Europol Opson VII operation preliminary findings
  3. Vietnam – New Criminal Code provides stricter sanctions for food safety violations
  4. QeA EU Parliament – EU Commission to EU Parliament on Meat Sounding
  5. QeA EU Commission to EU Parliament – Allergens declaration on non pre-packed food
  6. EU Audit in Belgium on organic production and labeling – Are we still surprised of “organic frauds”?
  7. EU Study on Food Waste and Date Marking published
  8. FDA finalizes the extension of the compliance dates for new Nutrition Facts
  9. Food Law in Asia and Food Law in US Conference (Rome 16-17th April 2018)
  10. Hard times for industrial trans fats: EU upcoming legal limit and FDA moves

Please let us know what we can do more or better and thank you for your continuous support!

Cesare

Acrylamide evaluations in EU and USA – FDA Final Guidance on reduction in certain foods

On 4 June 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its first full risk assessment of acrylamide in food. Experts from EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) reconfirmed previous evaluations that acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups.

Evidence from animal studies shows that acrylamide and its metabolite glycidamide are genotoxic and carcinogenic: they damage DNA and cause cancer. Evidence from human studies that dietary exposure to acrylamide causes cancer is currently limited and inconclusive. To know more about the situation in EU click here or download EFSA’s infographic.

Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued final guidance to the food industry to help growers, manufacturers and food service operators take steps to reduce levels of acrylamide in certain foods.

Acrylamide is a chemical that may form in certain foods during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting and baking. The National Toxicology Program (an interagency program that evaluates possible health risks associated with exposure to certain chemicals) characterizes the substance as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” And efforts to reduce acrylamide levels are already underway in many sectors of the food industry.

To help mitigate potential human health risks, the FDA’s guidance recommends that companies be aware of the levels of acrylamide in the foods they produce and consider adopting approaches, if feasible, that reduce acrylamide in their products. The guidance also offers a range of steps that growers, manufacturers, and food service operators may take to help reduce acrylamide levels.

For instance, for french fries, the recommended maximum cooking temperature for frying is 345-350 ºF/approximately 170-175 ºC (Refs. 30, 43). Providing appropriate cooking instructions on frozen french fry packages may help reduce acrylamide formation safely during final preparation by consumers and food service operators. Examples of such instructions (which may not be applicable to all products) are:

• Cook to a light golden color. Avoid browning fries.

• Avoid overcooking or undercooking.

• Avoid cooking in a toaster oven to prevent overcooking.

• Reduce cooking time when cooking small amounts.

Through this guidance and various research activities, the FDA is helping companies reduce acrylamide and reduce any potential risks to human health. The focus of this non-binding guidance is on raw materials, processing practices, and ingredients pertaining to potato-based foods (such as french fries and potato chips), cereal-based foods (such as cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals and toasted bread), and coffee, all sources of acrylamide exposure.

Because acrylamide is found primarily in potato-based foods, cereal-based foods, and coffee, the FDA’s best advice for consumers to help limit acrylamide intake is to adopt a healthy eating plan, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that:

• Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;
• Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and
• Limits saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Additional advice to consumers pertaining to acrylamide, including recommended food storage and preparation methods, is available on FDA website.

See also: Acrylamide – Nothing seems to help on focusonfoodsafety.wordpress.com, by Stefan Fabiansson.