United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), a non-profit food safety organization recently proposed a set of new and revised standards to ensure the safety of certain classes of imported food products. Omega-3 oils, stevia products, caffeine, and microscopic thin gold and silver foil commonly used in confectionery products are among the consumer products targeted.
The USP is a scientific organization whose mission is to improve public health through setting standards and programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods.
"Ensuring the quality of the food ingredients that make up so much of our global food supply is not only part of responsible business practice, but is critical to the health of consumers, " states V. Srini Srinivasan, Ph.D., Executive Vice president, Global Science and Standards at USP.
The public standards that are set forth by USP provide a resource for manufactures as they look at potential ingredient sources from suppliers around the world.
Dr. Srivivasan further comments as why new and revised standards are being proposed for omega-3 oils, stevia, and caffeine:
"While [public standards are] important for all ingredients, it is especially crucial for high-value ingredients, including those linked to health benefits such as krill oil and so-called natural ingredients such as stevia, which manufacturers and consumers pay a premium for and are in high public demand."
When the USP proposes new or revised standards, all interested parties, including manufacturers, are invited to comment on the new proposals. Comments from interested parties to help the USP to refine and create a robust set of end standards.
Revised standards for omega-3s, stevia, caffeine and the foils used for confectionery products can be reviewed and downloaded from USP's website.