Composition and Labelling of Pomegranate Juice to Ensure Compliance with Canadian Requirements

As a result of monitoring activities, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has determined that some imported pomegranate juices do not meet the compositional standards for fruit juices and contain non-permitted additives (including colours) and false or misleading claims. Appropriate action has been taken by the CFIA to address these issues. The purpose of this advisory is to remind importers, processors, and distributors of their responsibilities for ensuring that products imported into Canada for sale are safe, correctly labelled, and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements.

Composition

The Food and Drug Regulations and the Processed Product Regulations outline specific standards of composition for fruit juice. A food represented as pomegranate juice must meet the compositional standard established for fruit juice by the applicable regulations, more specifically, subsection B.11.120 of the Food and Drug Regulations and Section 13, Schedule II of the Processed Products Regulations. Beverages that do not meet the compositional standard for fruit juice can not be labelled as juice.

Labelling

Pomegranate juice labelled as "pure" or "100%" must contain only pomegranate juice and may not contain sugar or any other ingredients. Label claims must be accurate. The sale of pomegranate juice with false or misleading claim(s) regarding the nature or character of the product may be considered a contravention of subsection 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act and subsections 7(1) & 7(2)of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

Additives

Subsection B.01.008 (1)(b) of the Food and Drug Regulations requires a list of ingredients to be shown on the label of pre-packaged products consisting of more than one ingredient. Any added ingredients, including food additives, must be declared in the ingredient list. Health Canada's Lists of Permitted Food Additives identifies food additives that are permitted in food products. The amount of food additive allowed and the purpose of addition are also prescribed.

Industry Responsibilities

Companies are responsible for working with their suppliers to ensure that imported pomegranate juice products are safe, correctly labelled, and meet all regulatory requirements. The CFIA will take enforcement action when any non-compliant pomegranate juice products are sold or distributed in Canada.

For further information on this issue, please contact your local CFIA office.

Originally issued July 25, 2007 (Information Letter To Industry)

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