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Regulatory Hot Topics

Posted by Ashley Brooks on 1/15/19

What’s going on in the ever-changing world of regulatory? Our resident regulatory guru, Ashley Brooks, is here to help! Here are some of the most pressing hot topics in regulatory that food companies should be paying attention to.

The Final Rule on Bioengineered Food Labeling

The USDA announced the final National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (GMO labeling) on Dec. 20, 2018 and set the implementation date at Jan. 1, 2020, except for small food manufacturers, whose implementation date is Jan. 1, 2021. The mandatory compliance date is Jan. 1, 2022.
The final rule defines BE foods as those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through certain lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature.

If a food or food ingredient is BE and if records cannot prove it is not BE or not highly refined, the food must bear a BE disclosure. The USDA provides a List of Bioengineered Foods as a “tool” but the list is not exhaustive. Options for disclosure include: text, symbol, electronic or digital link, and/or text message. Additional options such as a phone number or web address are available to small food manufacturers.

The USDA has approved the following on-pack symbols:

 BE Image


This final version differs little from its draft versions – the key changes are:
• The BE rule will not require disclosure for highly refined products that do not contain genetic material.
• There is an option to voluntarily disclose information about highly refined foods derived from BE sources, using specific text (“derived from bioengineering”) or symbol, but is narrow in scope.
• Incidental additives will not be required to be disclosed. Only an additive required to be labeled as an ingredient would trigger the disclosure requirement.
• The BE final rule establishes a threshold where no disclosure is required when the food contains no more than 5% per ingredient of inadvertent or technically unavoidable BE substances. There is no threshold allowance for any intentional BE presence.
• The rule removes the proposed option to use the term "may be bioengineered"
For more information, see the USDA site:
https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/be and this FAQ Fact Sheet

FDA Considers Declaring Sesame a Major Food Allergen

The FDA is looking into treating sesame as an allergen. Currently, sesame is not required to be disclosed as an allergen, and in some cases, sesame may be exempt from being listed by name in the ingredient statement on food packages. The move would put sesame alongside the eight allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soybean, wheat, fish, and shellfish) named by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. The public comment period closed Dec. 31st 2018. We now await the FDA’s determination. FDA Sesame Docket [Now Closed]

Approval of 7 Artificial Flavors Revoked

In October 2018 the FDA issued a ban on six artificial flavors, after research demonstrated a link to cancer in laboratory animals, including synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, methyl eugenol, myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. The de-listing of approval applies to the synthetic substances only and does not apply to natural forms of the flavoring substances. Additionally, the agency revoked approval of styrene, which is no longer used by the industry. The agency is giving food processors 24 months to phase out these substances in question. Constituent Update: FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List

Nutrition Facts Label Compliance Date Extended Until 2020

The FDA published its final rule on changes to the Nutrition Facts Label in May 2016 and gave the original compliance date. Some of the changes included a larger type size for calories, a mandatory declaration of added sugars, and a mandatory listing of vitamin D and potassium. Then in May 2018, FDA extended the compliance dates for the rules from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and to January 1, 2021, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales.
In November, the FDA issued guidance to support industry compliance with the upcoming rules:
FDA Guidance FAQ Compliance Date, Added Sugars, Vitamins, Minerals
FDA Guidance Serving Sizes and Miscellaneous Topics

FDA Sets Uniform Compliance Date
Last month, the FDA announced that January 1, 2022, will be the uniform compliance date for all final food labeling regulations issued in 2019 and 2020. The compliance date does not apply to final rules issued by the FDA before January 1, 2019.

Need help navigating regulatory requirements? Reach out to Ashley at abrooks@fuchsna.com.

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Dill Profile

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 12/4/18

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What is Dill?

Dill is one of a relatively small number of herbs that are cultivated both for the leaf (dill weed) and the seed (dill seed). It is an annual of the parsley family and grows to a height of 3 feet in so many temperate regions of the world that it is often considered a weed. As with most members of the parsley family, dill’s seeds grow within the clusters of small yellow flowers at stem ends. The seeds appear to be flattened ovals and are brown with lighter colored edges. Beneath these clusters, bright green, feathery leaves grow in abundance and are dried to become dill weed.

The word dill is derived from the Norwegian dilla meaning to lull or soothe. This was the believed effect of the herb when taken internally; dill water was consequently given to crying babies as a treatment for colic. Throughout history, dill was also used to relieve adult digestive problems, to protect against witchcraft and even as an ingredient in love potions.

What is it used for today?

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Some of the most popular seasoning blends containing dill weed are in the dairy and meat industries. Salad dressings such as Ranch or Thousand Island may contain dill weed. It is present in larger quantities, often in combination with dehydrated onion or chives, in many sour cream based “Dill Dips.” In the meat industry, the flavor of dill complements beef as evidenced by its presence in steak sauce and stroganoff seasonings. Additionally, dill (in both seed and leaf forms) is common to many pickling seasonings, including the ever-popular dill pickle.

To learn more about the spices and seasonings that Fuchs has to offer, click here. Our experts are ready to educate your team on all things spices and seasonings. To find out more, contact us

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Ashley's Vegetarian BBQ Meatloaf Muffin Recipe

Posted by Ashley Brooks on 11/27/18

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 A native of Maryland, Ashley graduated with a degree in Chemistry from Stevenson University and has focused on food science, regulatory and quality assurance throughout her career. When Ashley first began working at Fuchs almost a decade ago, she worked in our Microbiological lab. She eventually became a Quality Assistant Supervisor and is now our Regulatory Affairs Manager, specializing in domestic and international regulations. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking plant-based recipes, spoiling her three cats, and playing tennis with her husband.

One of the biggest trends to hit the food industry in the past couple of years has been the move towards plant-based proteins. This trend shows no signs of slowing down either; it has consistently topped trend reports looking forward to 2019 and beyond. Here, our regulatory guru, Ashley Brooks, shares one of her go-to plant-based recipes. 

I was a big fan of Rachel Ray’s Meatloaf Muffin recipe before I became a vegetarian, and so I was inspired to create this meatless version. This would make the perfect weeknight or lazy weekend dinner to feed the family. One batch makes six servings and it only takes 30 minutes to make! (It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.) This recipe is approved by my carnivore husband too!
Usually, I serve this alongside mashed potatoes and green beans or peas; it is the perfect spin to a classic dinner. Don’t forget to make some biscuits too!

2-14 oz. cans or 3 1/3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped (optional)
1-2 cups plain breadcrumbs – make it gluten free by subbing in gluten free breadcrumbs!
1 large egg, plus splash of unflavored soy or almond milk, beaten – make it vegan by subbing the egg with 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds!
2 tbsp. Fuchs’ Grilled Steak Seasoning
1 cup smoky barbecue sauce
½ cup ketchup
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
Vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Put chickpeas into a food processor and pulse until chickpeas are broken up. Put chickpeas into a big bowl.
3. Put onion and celery into a food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are chopped into very small pieces then add them to the chickpea bowl.
4. Add egg, beaten with milk, bread crumbs and Fuchs’ Grilled Steak Seasoning to the bowl.
5. In a new small bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, the ketchup, and the Worcestershire sauce. Pour half the sauce mixture into the large bowl with the meatloaf mix. Save the other half of the sauce mixture to top each muffin before baking. Mix the meatloaf together. Add more breadcrumbs if too much liquid were added or make more sauce mixture if too dry.
6. Brush a 12-muffin tin with vegetable oil. Use an ice cream scoop to help you fill mixture into each tin.
7. Top each meat loaf with a spoonful of extra sauce. Bake about 20 minutes. Cut open 1 muffin to test that the middle is cooked through.


  • Ashley Brooks
  • Ashley Brooks, Regulatory Affairs Manager

Celery Seed Profile

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 11/20/18

Celery Seed

What is Celery Seed?

Celery seed is a member of the parsley family and is native to an area extending from China to Sweden. The imported celery seed used today, whole or ground, comes from a variety grown primarily in France and India known as smallage. This type of celery was grown for centuries as a medicinal aid and was introduced as a food plant around the seventeenth century. However, though they have similar flavors, the vegetable celery (stalks and leaves) with which we are familiar comes from different varieties of the sames species and is grown in the United States.

The fruit of smallage is the spice known as celery seed and grows in clusters of small white flowers at the ends of tapered stems. The celery plant grows to a height of 2 - 3 feet, producing the tiny seeds in its second year of growth. Celery seeds are one of the smallest seed spices; there are approximately 750,000 seeds in 1 pound of the spice.

What is it used for today?


Two of the most common seasoning blends containing celery seed are seasoned salt and celery salt. These all-purpose blends of salt, ground celery seed and other spices have been used for years in a wide variety of applications. In the ground form, it is also an essential component of many poultry and other meat seasonings placing it among the ingredients in gravies, bread stuffings and sauces. Whole celery seed is most often found in pickling spice blends in the canning industry.

To learn more about the spices and seasonings that Fuchs has to offer, click here. Our experts are ready to educate your team on all things spices and seasonings. To find out more, contact us

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Meet Elizabeth Lindemer

Fuchs’ Corporate Executive Chef

“As the chef for Fuchs North America, I have the opportunity to share my passion for food with our customers and help them overcome their culinary challenges every day.”

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