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To assure the quality of the Natural Products Expo brand and to help preserve the integrity and meaning of the term "NATURAL," New Hope Network has introduced a phased-in process that will not allow specific artificial ingredients in foods at Natural Products Expos.
This effort represents our attempt to be responsive to the many comments, suggestions and concerns from industry manufacturers, distributors, brokers and retailers.
These Ingredient Standards & Guidelines are updated and refined over time, and exhibitors are notified about the Ingredient Standards prior to contracting exhibit space.
*Literature may not contain prohibited products (ex. vapes, artificial prohibited ingredients, etc.).
COMMENTS: Please submit all questions or comments to [email protected].
STANDARDS: These are enforceable for all Expo exhibitors.
GUIDELINES: These are recommendations not currently enforced.
The following sweeteners are synthetic, do not occur in nature, and will not be allowed as ingredients in food products for exhibit on the Natural Products Expo tradeshow floor:
*E numbers are used in the European Union (EU) to designate additives that have been reviewed for safety and allowed in foods. They appear on the label of products sold in the EU.
Most polyol sweeteners (with the exception of erythritol) occur in nature, but in commercial practice they are obtained from hydrogenation of simple sugars to create the finished form. Therefore, these sweeteners, which are often used in low-carbohydrate, low-calorie or restricted-calorie products, should not be labeled as "natural." There are few low-calorie, natural alternatives to these sweeteners. They may be described as chemically identical to the product that occurs in nature, but it is misleading to label them as "natural," since hydrogenation is not a natural process.
The following natural sweeteners are available and compatible with natural foods and the natural and organic retail channel.
Acceptable natural sweeteners include:
*Corn-based sweeteners may be derived from genetically modified corn seed.
†Manufacturers should use non-GMO sources for these sweeteners.
Natural foods should not contain any artificial colors. The FDA regulates the use of Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) colors that are intensely colored compounds for use in foods. These are considered certifiable colors.
Some non-certifiable colors, even though derived from natural sources, such as caramels and synthetic beta-carotene, should not be used in foods labeled as "all natural". Some caramel colorings are processed with sulfite and/or ammonia and should not be used in foods labeled as "all natural". Oleoresins may use synthetic solvents for their production.
Acceptable natural colorings include:
Natural foods should not contain any artificial flavorings. Some non-U.S. products may contain "nature-identical" flavorings, which are considered artificial in the United States. These products should not be labeled as natural. Allowed flavorings must be labeled as natural and must have certification from the flavor manufacturer that the flavoring is natural. It is recommended that the specification be reviewed and that all non-flavoring materials also should be natural, as the U.S. FDA will certify flavorings as natural which contain synthetic non-flavoring ingredients.
The use of any artificial flavorings in natural foods is not allowed for the trade show. Any products labeled with artificial flavoring or natural and artificial flavoring are unacceptable. Also, many imported products may contain "nature-identical" flavorings, which are considered artificial in the United States. These are also not allowed. Allowed flavorings must be labeled as natural and must have certification from the flavor manufacturer that the flavoring is natural. It is recommended that the specification be reviewed and that all non-flavoring materials also should be natural as the FDA will certify flavorings as natural which contain synthetic non-flavoring ingredients.
Natural foods should not contain any artificial preservatives. Microbiological preservatives are used in foods for microbiological stability and for color and flavor stability, such as preventing rancidity. Stability may be achieved using a combination of heat, low pH, lower moisture (or water activity) or other means.
Natural foods should not contain any artificial gums, thickeners or emulsifiers. Gums and thickeners are used in foods to provide texture, increase viscosity and to help with dispersion and stability of ingredients within a food matrix. There are many chemically modified gums available that should not be used in natural foods. Emulsifiers are designed to help stability of oil/water matrices, such as in salad dressings. Many are derived from synthetic ingredients or sources.
Breads for the natural products industry should be made with unbleached flours and preferably with whole grain flours, wherever possible. In addition, there are many ingredients used in the baking industry that are synthetic and should not be used in natural products.
Foods containing ingredients made with genetically modified organisms may not be labeled as “natural” or “all natural.”
The following ingredients will not be allowed in foods or dietary supplements:
Cannabidiol (CBD) dietary supplements and foods with added CBD are not allowed at Natural Products Expos.