Food labels can have a huge impact on whether a customer purchases a particular item. Nutritional information is important, and when it comes to fresh produce, shoppers want to know that what they are buying is not going to cause them harm.
Often, substances such as processing aids are applied to foods before they are brought to the shelves. This is done to kill pathogens and preserve freshness, but according to a recent Food Safety News article, these processing aids do not have to be listed by law.
Trevor Suslow, extension research specialist at the University of California Davis, explained to the news source that chlorine washes, ozone to organic acids and oils derived from plants such as cinnamon or pine trees can be used as a processing aid. Additionally, manufacturers and distributors do not always use one consistent option across the board, he said.
Even so, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that antimicrobial agents be used in order to minimize the risk of certain contaminants on fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
"An initial wash treatment may be used to remove the bulk of field soil from produce followed by an additional wash or washes containing an antimicrobial chemical," the agency wrote.
The FDA has set limits for processing aids used in washes, to ensure that they are presented at safe levels to customers.
While there might not yet be requirements about listing details on foods, companies that handle food labels for their products should be prepared for changes. With a Primera LX900 color label printer, organizations can remain up to date on all legal requirements for their items.