On January 1, 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture mandated product disclosures for any bioengineered food.
You may have noticed these labels on products you frequently purchase at the grocery store, but what do they mean? With more of these products on grocery store shelves, understanding bioengineered foods labeling is vital for your diet.
Want to learn more about the foods labeling process for bioengineered food? Here’s a closer look at what you need to know.
What Are Bioengineered Foods?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines bioengineered foods as any food containing ingredients not derived from conventional farming practices. The USDA definition is similar to what is known as Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs.
Though this foods labeling process is very new, American citizens have consumed foods produced with GMOs for decades as the first food product grown with GMOs (tomatoes) hit the produce shelves in 1994.
Foods such as soybeans and sugar beets that are grown using GMOs became available in the decades after, and scientists even produced the first genetically engineered salmon in 2015.
Types of Foods That Are Bioengineered
Bioengineered foods can include unique compounds. These food products may also include natural ingredients that have been enhanced in some way. Food products containing multiple ingredients may use one or more that are bioengineered.
For example, many manufactured food products contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a sweetener. Sodas, baked goods, and even deli meats all contain HFCS. Recent estimates show that over 90% of American corn is grown using some kind of genetic modification or bioengineering.
With that amount of bioengineered corn and so many foods containing HCFS, these foods are almost omnipresent.
Some other bioengineered foods include:
Bioengineered Foods Labeling Rules
In 2016, the United States Congress amended the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. This amendment implored the USDA to create a standard bioengineered food disclosure. When the new bioengineered food labeling rules were announced in 2018, gone was the term “GMO.”
The term “bioengineered” became the standard term used on all food labeling.
According to the USDA, food products must use the standard label if they meet the following criteria:
- If the raw produce is grown using bioengineering methods
- If the food product contains any bioengineered ingredient
Not every food containing bioengineered ingredients must receive a label. Food produced in restaurants and retail outlets is exempt from the USDA bioengineered food labeling rules.
For example, if you order French fries at your favorite restaurant, the potatoes and the oil used to fry the potatoes may be bioengineered. Under current USDA rules, the restaurant doesn’t have to label this menu item as bioengineered.
Why You Need a Nutrition Label
Food labeling isn’t just a USDA requirement, it is also a fantastic marketing tool for your business or product. Yes, you must use the bioengineered label for a manufactured food product meeting the outlined criteria. You can also create your own different food labels for healthy options.
Recent data shows that 46% of Americans want to eat a healthier diet. Creating unique “vegan,” “vegetarian,” and “gluten-free” labels may help sell those products. While “bioengineered foods” is a negative buzzword for some health advocates, many vegan foods use bioengineered ingredients to add vital nutrients.
The current regulations about food labeling exist to keep consumers informed. You want to know what’s in your food so you can make the best dietary choices for yourself and your family. These labels also help people consider their health and bioengineered foods.
New labels and logos make that process even easier. In this way, customers are informed and can make the most educated decisions every time. Some manufacturers also include QR codes that will help explain even more information to the customer.
With food, education is power for health and bioengineered foods. Labeling food products gives consumers options they otherwise would not have.
The Foods Labeling Process
The food labeling process is incredibly simple and easy. When you create a product, the recipe is used to calculate the nutritional breakdown of that food. This is done by taking each ingredient and looking at its nutritional information.
Platforms like Nutritionist Pro make this easy for you. Since they have a database of ingredients already, you just need to outline your recipe and they’ll calculate everything for you.
How Nutritionist Pro Can Help
Nutritionist Pro is a groundbreaking platform that allows you to create and edit different food labels. This platform comes with an extensive database of ingredients that can help track macronutrients and micronutrients for a recipe. The database makes the entire food labeling process simple and easy.
Nutritionist Pro does not just have what you need for food labels in the United States. The platform also makes it easy to create food labels in many other countries. With this database, you can manufacture and label food products to sell all around the world.
Foods Labeling With Nutritionist Pro
Some folks consider bioengineered foods a modern marvel capable of solving world hunger. Others are wary of including any of these foods in their diet. To protect and inform American consumers, the USDA now requires a standardized label.
Considering how much of our food uses some form of bioengineering, food manufacturers need a streamlined bioengineered foods labeling process.
Nutritionist Pro makes the entire labeling process quick and easy. The platform has an extensive database of ingredients that you can use to create and edit nutrition labels. Click here to learn more about how Nutritionist Pro can help you.