The US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has published the ninth edition Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) – a compendium of internationally recognized standards for a wide variety of ingredients. FCC includes latest specifications for the identity and purity of about 1,200 food ingredients, including test methods and key guidance on critical issues. The food ingredients included span across colorings, flavorings, nutrients, preservatives and processing aids.
USP also produces physical reference materials for many of the ingredients specified in the FCC in order to obtain reliable results when the analytical procedures in the monographs are executed appropriately.
“The food industry is constantly innovating with new products and ingredients,” said Dr. Gabriel Giancaspro, USP vice president for food ingredients, dietary supplements and herbal medicines. “At the same time, manufacturers are increasingly sourcing their ingredients globally. Public quality standards can serve as a resource for manufacturers by providing specifications to authenticate their ingredients, and help protect our increasingly global food supply chain.”
Among the new monographs in the FCC is spirulina, a food ingredient that was just recently approved as a natural source of blue color for candy and chewing gum by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Formulators also use spirulina in specialty food bars, powdered nutritional drinks, among other products due to its non-animal protein content. FCC monographs include the function, definition, packaging and storage, labeling requirements, test procedures and other features of food ingredients.
Another monograph included in the new edition of FCC is brilliant black PN, a synthetic food color used in products requiring the color black in their formulation (jams, chocolate syrup and candy are common examples). Even though the FDA has not approved brilliant black PN as a food color in the United States, its use in food is currently approved in many other countries.