FDA Rules Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Have Equivalent, If Not Better, Nutrient Profile than Fresh Product



Victory Caps Four-Year AFFI Fight



Mar 25, 1998, 00:00 ET from American Frozen Food Institute

    WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration
 (FDA) has brought its definition of "healthy" into line with the body of
 scientific evidence regarding the high nutritional value of frozen fruits and
 vegetables by approving an American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) petition to
 allow frozen produce to be labeled as "healthy."  FDA stated that, at a
 minimum, frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalent to fresh product, and may
 exceed the fresh product in certain circumstances.  FDA published its final
 rule in the Federal Register today.
     "Frozen fruits and vegetables are now officially where they should be: on
 a level playing field with fresh produce," said AFFI President and Chief
 Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson.
     FDA wrote, "In efforts to evaluate the nutrient content of frozen fruits
 and vegetables compared to that of raw fruits and vegetables, the agency
 reviewed both the AFFI's supplemental data and similar data from the U.S.
 Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The nutrient profiles of selected raw
 fruits and vegetables and frozen, single ingredient versions of the same
 fruits and vegetables revealed relatively equivalent nutrient profiles."
     FDA continued, "In fact, some data showed that the nutrient content level
 for certain nutrients was higher in the frozen version of the food than in the
 raw version of the food.  This is probably attributable to the fact that
 unprocessed (i.e., raw) fruits and vegetables may lose some of their nutrients
 over time under certain storage conditions."
     In a petition submitted to FDA on May 13, 1994, AFFI urged the agency to
 open the "healthy" claim to frozen produce.  AFFI provided scientific data
 which supports the Institute's argument that frozen produce not only is equal
 to fresh produce in nutritional value, but frozens may contain more nutrients
 than fresh if the latter has been held for several days in the supermarket and
 home refrigerator.
     In approving AFFI's petition, FDA cited evidence provided by AFFI, as well
 as additional scientific data reviewed by the agency.
     Anderson noted the importance of frozen produce to the national campaign
 to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables.  "AFFI is a strong
 supporter of the National Cancer Institute's 5 A Day -- for Better Health
 campaign, which encourages Americans to eat five servings of fruits and
 vegetables -- frozen or fresh -- every day to guard against cancer and other
 chronic diseases.  It is even more clear that frozen fruits and vegetables are
 the convenient, high quality way to get 5 A Day.
     "This is important news, as well as an important victory, for consumers.
 The Food and Drug Administration agrees that frozen produce is a key to good
 health.  Consumers should be pleased to know that, with frozen fruits and
 vegetables, convenience, high quality, great taste and nutrition go hand-in-
 hand," said Anderson.
     "The FDA's approval of the 'healthy' petition for frozen produce is a
 tremendous victory for AFFI and for consumers who want the best possible
 information on which to base their eating decisions.  It is a well-deserved
 victory that is based on scientific fact."
     In its petition, AFFI submitted data presented in The Mount Sinai School
 of Medicine Complete Book of Nutrition to support its call for the "healthy"
 label.
     Also among the evidence submitted by AFFI was a study by Dr. Barbara
 Klein, a professor of foods and nutrition at the University of Illinois, who
 found that frozen green beans contain twice as much vitamin C as their raw
 counterparts.  After three days in a display case and three days in a
 refrigerator -- a situation that typically occurs after purchase -- "fresh"
 green beans retained only 36 percent of their vitamin C content.  Frozen green
 beans, on the other hand, retained 77 percent of their vitamin C content --
 more than twice the vitamin C.
     The American Frozen Food Institute is the national trade association that
 has represented the interests of the frozen food industry for more than 55
 years.  Its 586 corporate members account for more than 90 percent of the
 frozen food production in the United States.
 
 

SOURCE American Frozen Food Institute
    WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration
 (FDA) has brought its definition of "healthy" into line with the body of
 scientific evidence regarding the high nutritional value of frozen fruits and
 vegetables by approving an American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) petition to
 allow frozen produce to be labeled as "healthy."  FDA stated that, at a
 minimum, frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalent to fresh product, and may
 exceed the fresh product in certain circumstances.  FDA published its final
 rule in the Federal Register today.
     "Frozen fruits and vegetables are now officially where they should be: on
 a level playing field with fresh produce," said AFFI President and Chief
 Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson.
     FDA wrote, "In efforts to evaluate the nutrient content of frozen fruits
 and vegetables compared to that of raw fruits and vegetables, the agency
 reviewed both the AFFI's supplemental data and similar data from the U.S.
 Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The nutrient profiles of selected raw
 fruits and vegetables and frozen, single ingredient versions of the same
 fruits and vegetables revealed relatively equivalent nutrient profiles."
     FDA continued, "In fact, some data showed that the nutrient content level
 for certain nutrients was higher in the frozen version of the food than in the
 raw version of the food.  This is probably attributable to the fact that
 unprocessed (i.e., raw) fruits and vegetables may lose some of their nutrients
 over time under certain storage conditions."
     In a petition submitted to FDA on May 13, 1994, AFFI urged the agency to
 open the "healthy" claim to frozen produce.  AFFI provided scientific data
 which supports the Institute's argument that frozen produce not only is equal
 to fresh produce in nutritional value, but frozens may contain more nutrients
 than fresh if the latter has been held for several days in the supermarket and
 home refrigerator.
     In approving AFFI's petition, FDA cited evidence provided by AFFI, as well
 as additional scientific data reviewed by the agency.
     Anderson noted the importance of frozen produce to the national campaign
 to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables.  "AFFI is a strong
 supporter of the National Cancer Institute's 5 A Day -- for Better Health
 campaign, which encourages Americans to eat five servings of fruits and
 vegetables -- frozen or fresh -- every day to guard against cancer and other
 chronic diseases.  It is even more clear that frozen fruits and vegetables are
 the convenient, high quality way to get 5 A Day.
     "This is important news, as well as an important victory, for consumers.
 The Food and Drug Administration agrees that frozen produce is a key to good
 health.  Consumers should be pleased to know that, with frozen fruits and
 vegetables, convenience, high quality, great taste and nutrition go hand-in-
 hand," said Anderson.
     "The FDA's approval of the 'healthy' petition for frozen produce is a
 tremendous victory for AFFI and for consumers who want the best possible
 information on which to base their eating decisions.  It is a well-deserved
 victory that is based on scientific fact."
     In its petition, AFFI submitted data presented in The Mount Sinai School
 of Medicine Complete Book of Nutrition to support its call for the "healthy"
 label.
     Also among the evidence submitted by AFFI was a study by Dr. Barbara
 Klein, a professor of foods and nutrition at the University of Illinois, who
 found that frozen green beans contain twice as much vitamin C as their raw
 counterparts.  After three days in a display case and three days in a
 refrigerator -- a situation that typically occurs after purchase -- "fresh"
 green beans retained only 36 percent of their vitamin C content.  Frozen green
 beans, on the other hand, retained 77 percent of their vitamin C content --
 more than twice the vitamin C.
     The American Frozen Food Institute is the national trade association that
 has represented the interests of the frozen food industry for more than 55
 years.  Its 586 corporate members account for more than 90 percent of the
 frozen food production in the United States.
 
 SOURCE  American Frozen Food Institute