The FDA has delayed an update to standards of identity for yogurt, due in part to objections from the International Dairy Foods Association.
The FDA had published a final rule updating the standards, which set minimums for ingredients, specify (or forbid) certain processing practices, and set other requirements. The rule was published last June, but certain of the standards were placed on hold following the IDFA’s objections, per federal regulations.
The IDFA’s objections include:
- Requiring the product to have a pH below 4.6 and/or titratable acidity of at least 0.7%. The IDFA believes this is impractical for many flavored yogurts.
- Requiring that yogurt contain vitamin D of at least 25% of the recommended daily value per serving. In its objection letter, the IDFA said that level of vitamin D “is unreasonably high in light of the basic nature of yogurt and does not promote the interests of consumers.”
- Requiring a minimum of 3.25% of milkfat. The IDFA pointed out that low- and no-fat yogurt currently constitutes a large majority of the market.
The IDFA issued a statement expressing frustration that the final rule is being delayed. “After 40 years since FDA first issued standards for yogurt, IDFA and our yogurt members are back to where we started several decades ago, beseeching the FDA to work with yogurt makers to make commonsense updates to a category that has been waiting more than four decades for modernization,” IDFA CEO Michael Dykes said in the statement.