Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 04/Page 04.4

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04.4 Standards of Food Identity and Composition

The Food and Drug Regulations contain descriptions of certain foods that specify, for example, what is allowed in those foods as ingredients. These descriptions are standards of identity and composition that have to be met for a food to be legally called by the name in the standard. The foods are referred to as "standardized foods". Examples of standardized foods include bread, milk, cheese, orange juice, sausage, jam, wine, beer, vinegar and salt. Foods that do not have a standard of identity are referred to as "unstandardized foods". Snack foods like potato chips, various bakery items such as rolls, donuts and cakes, yogurt, and pizza are examples of unstandardized foods.

Standards of food identity and composition are defined in the Food Regulations of the Food and Drugs Act of Canada

  • Please bookmark the link for the Food and Drug Regulations of The Food and Drugs Act of Canada:

Note the following:

  • An identity standard is one that states what the food shall be and defines a food or ingredient. Compositional standards list the mandatory and permitted ingredients in foods.
  • There are standards of identity or composition for over 300 foods in the Food Regulations in Canada. They are classified within 28 divisions. For example, Division 13 regulates "Grain and Bakery products". In this division, the standards of identity and composition for white wheat flour and bread can be found. A fragment of this division is shown below in Box 4.2 (click on the Box to read its contents).
    • The dates on the left hand side of the identity and compositional standards (Box 4.2) indicate the date of the last revision of a particular section of the standard.
Want to learn more?
  • Visit the Food and Drug Regulations (,_c._870/index.html) and answer the following questions. Can you identify the division number that regulates:
    • Dairy products
    • Food additives
    • Cocoa & chocolate products
Box 4.2 Identity and Composition Standards.