Welcome again to Amerex’s Blog!
We have already entered February and it seems like a very busy month, on which we keep receiving many updates from the food industry. Some of them are very inspiring to begin a new season of our wonderful Blog. Let’s check it out!
Year 2020 welcomed us with a new law set up by the USA that forbids vegan and vegetarian companies to label ‘meat’, in the full sense of the word, to products that seem like it. This law, which is called The Real MEAT Act (The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Thruthfully Act of 2019), establishes the definitions for ‘beef’ and ‘beef product’ and require the imitation products to contain the word ‘imitation’ immediately before or after the name. These terms are found to ensure that there is no misunderstanding for the consumer, so they know that the food they eat does not contain meat at all.
The law defines with the term ‘imitation meat food product’ as any product manufactured to appear as a meat food product or any food product, which approximates the aesthetic qualities (primarily texture, flavour and appearance) and/or chemical characteristics, but does not contain any meat, meat food product, or meat by-product ingredients. In addition, it defines the terms ‘imitation meat food product’ and ‘imitation meat by-product’, so that it leaves no room for doubt for the vegetable product companies.
This law has been brought up as a result of the general discontent regarding this matter for a long time. Not only regarding meat products and its by-products, but also with the so-called vegetable ‘milk’.
According to the trends we have been exploring for the last several years for alternatives to the traditional products, vegetable beverages have increased and become highly important. From the beginning, the preferred term was vegetable ‘milks’: soya milk, almond milk, coconut milk…
This matter brought about a very interesting discussion as in the meat industry, that these beverages cannot nutritionally replace original cow’s milk, nor does their components or its nutritional content. Therefore, one cannot substitute the other under any circumstances.
What does the law state? According to the current legislation (Council Regulation (EC) nº 1234/2007), ‘The term ‘milk’ means exclusively the normal mammary secretion obtained from one or more milkings without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom’. However, this shall not apply ‘to the designation of products the exact nature of which is clear from traditional usage and/or when the designations are clearly used to describe a characteristic quality of the product’. The last statement refers to a list of products that appear in the Commission Decision of 20 December 2010, on which almond milk is found to be the only vegetable beverage that can be labelled under this term.
We have already explained the law statements according to the nomenclature of meat products. Nevertheless, what are the consequences of it? These products do not apply to the same food safety and labelling standards as beef. Even though they are named after it, it is true that the ingredient’s legislation is not under control and therefore any additive may be added in their formulations. In other words, companies take advantage of very good marketing, making it look like meat, and what’s more, rules for additives are completely different. Besides, it is important to mention the analytics and inspections carried out in the meat industry, for example with Listeria or other pathogenic microorganisms, which are very strict. These are not so well defined in this type of products.
Then, what should we do? For now, this is the situation and that means for many companies to search for solutions for enhancing shelf-life and safety, such as the ones we provide at Amerex. Our technology is based on microorganisms that fit any nomenclatures and legislations, for every final product. And why are we so certain? Because we know that manufacturers have healthy foods on the market with consumer-oriented labels and Amerex as their provider of natural safety solutions.
Would you like to know more? Contact us and we will help you with everything you need.
See you soon and we will keep you updated!
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