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Business Bites: SupplySide East 2023, New soy protein facility, FTC Green Guides

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On this week’s plate: Preparing for SupplySide East in New Jersey; FTC looks to update Green Guides; food ingredient company Bunge invests in North American plant-based operations; and much more.

SupplySide East heads to New Jersey

Are you a business owner in the food and beverage industry looking to network with global industry suppliers? If so, look no further than SupplySide East, the East Coast’s leading ingredients and solutions tradeshow. The annual event, which features more than 250 leading suppliers, is being held from April 18-19 at Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Gain insight into the latest science and trends in beverages, heart health, probiotics and sports nutrition—and network with more than 2,700 decision-makers and industry experts from the global health and nutrition industry. Registration is open, with discounted rates offered until April 13.

Bunge plans $550 million North American soy protein facility

As the plant-based industry continues to grow, so does its footprint. Bunge, an agribusiness and food ingredient company, is among the roster of businesses dedicated to improving the global food supply chain. It announced plans to build a $550 million fully integrated soy protein concentrate and textured soy protein concentrate facility in Morristown, Indiana, by 2025. The new facility is expected to meet rising consumer demand for key ingredients in the production of plant-based foods, processed meat, pet food and feed products. Adjacent to and integrated with Bunge’s soybean processing plant, it is expected to ultimately process an additional 4.5 million bushels of soybeans.

The Federal Trade Commission looks to update Green Guides

With the increase of food labels that tout claims, such as 100% recyclable packaging or sustainably sourced ingredients, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is doing its due diligence to ensure these are true. The FTC is seeking public comment on potential updates to its guides for environmental marketing claims. The “Green Guides,” as FTC officials refer to them, provide guidelines for companies to avoid misleading consumers with deceptive environmental claims, which have been published since 1992. The Green Guides haven’t been reviewed since 2012, prompting the FTC to seek commentary on their overall composition and how consumers might perceive claims with advancements in the industry.

FDA GRAS panel guidance

FDA recently released a guidance document with its recommendations on best practices for convening a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) panel—one method of obtaining outside scientific input that an ingredient may be considered suitable under the conditions of its intended use for a human food or animal food product. A GRAS panel is a group of experts who independently evaluate whether the available scientific data, information and methods appear to support that a substance is considered GRAS, in accordance with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). The outcome of a panel’s deliberations does not create or confer general recognition of the safety of the use of an ingredient, but it can help support a proponent’s GRAS conclusion. 

Among its recommendations, the guidance states panel members should be qualified subject matter experts without bias or the appearance thereof. In general, FDA’s guidance documents do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities, unless specified.

James Beard Foundation’s annual Chef Action Summit

How are we going to create an equitable, sustainable food system? What will it take? Industry professionals attending The James Beard Foundation’s (JBF) annual Chief Action Summit can answer these important questions. The event—taking place from Jan. 29-31 in Houston, Texas—will unite JBF alumni, James Beard Award winners and nominees, and leaders from the policy, culinary, nonprofit and corporate industries. Key issues affecting America’s food culture, such as nutrition security and hunger, conservation and sustainability, and improving equity in the industry, will be topics of discussion. Feature speakers include Hunger Free America CEO and deputy undersecretary for the USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

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