Based on the rules put forth by the FDA effective July 26, 2016, commercial Kombucha producers in the United States are required to indicate the sugar they add to the fermentation process as “Added Sugars.” However, the amount required to put on the label is AFTER fermentation has occurred. To be in compliance with this rule, it is advised that Kombucha producers in the United States submit their products to a third party lab for sugar testing. Clear records and scientific documentation that demonstrate the accurate amount of sugar grams in the final products along with a narrative of why the amount is different than the starting sugar are required to be kept on file. Any Kombucha producer that adds juice, sugar or sugar substitutes to their final product would need to also include that information as part of the “Added Sugars” amount on the label.

RECAP:

  • All sugar used for fermentation must be listed as ADDED SUGAR
  • Amount listed is the amount present in the product AFTER fermentation provided clear documentation and narrative are kept on file
  • Any other sugars added in the flavoring stage are also to be included as ADDED SUGAR

The new rules put forth by the FDA regarding added sugars are listed here for reference (important details bolded by KBI):

  • Requiring the declaration of the gram amount of “added sugars” in a serving of a product, establishing a Daily Reference Value (DRV), and requiring the percent Daily Value (DV) declaration for added sugars;
  • Changing “Sugars” to “Total Sugars” and requiring that “Includes `X’ g Added Sugars” be indented and declared directly below “Total Sugars” on the label;
  • The rule requires a manufacturer with sugars added before and during the fermentation process to make and keep records of added sugars necessary to determine the amount of added sugars present in the finished food. The rule requires manufacturers of such foods to make and keep records of all relevant scientific data and information relied upon by the manufacturer that demonstrates the amount of added sugars in the food after fermentation and a narrative explaining why the data and information are sufficient to demonstrate the amount of added sugars declared in the finished food, provided the data and information used is specific to the type of fermented food manufactured.
  • Establishing a compliance date of 2 years after the final rule’s effective date (7/26/16), except that manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales have a compliance date of 3 years after the final rule’s effective date. (For more details, see part III.)

Compliance dates for brands with $10MM in sales is 7/26/18 & for brands with less than $10MM in sales as 7/26/19.

Example of where Added Sugars to be noted on label:

RECOMMENDED NARRATIVE TO KEEP WITH SCIENTIFIC RECORDS

Kombucha is a traditionally fermented beverage made of tea, sugar and SCOBY. Throughout the fermentation process, the sugar added at the beginning is consumed by the microorganisms in the SCOBY and is reduced over time in two ways. Cane sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide. Initially, the yeast split the sugar molecule into its monosaccharide components, fructose and glucose. Primarily, this results in a lower glycemic impact to the consumer because the complex carbohydrates are broken down into simpler sugars. Secondarily, the amount of sugar remaining is also reduced the longer the fermentation continues. The byproducts of this process are converted into organic acids giving Kombucha is unique flavor and properties.

 

REFERENCES:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/27/2016-11867/food-labeling-revision-of-the-nutrition-and-supplement-facts-labels

Help Your Patients Use the Nutrition Facts Label to Cut Down on Added Sugars

 

Rev.120617 Approved KBI Board December 2017