FDA: Love is not a valid food ingredient

If your secret baking ingredient is love, keep it secret and don’t put it on your product labels.

A bakery and wholesale company in Massachusetts was called out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month for labeling “love” as an ingredient in its granola product.

Here’s what the FDA wrote to Nashoba Brook Bakery:

“Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient ‘Love’. Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name [21 CFR 101.4(a)(1). ‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient.”

The warning letter also listed numerous other health violations. The bakery says it plans to make changes in order to comply with the FDA’s requirements, but isn’t thrilled about the mandate on love.

“I really like that we list ‘love’ in the granola,” company CEO John Gates told Bloomberg. “People ask us what makes it so good. It’s kind of nice that this artisan bakery can say there’s love in it and it puts a smile on people’s faces.”

The letter also addressed issues that are key to the FDA — not so much the love.  A spokesperson emailed Bloomberg to say that the main goal of the letter was to have the bakery fix the health violations.

“The information about ‘love’ as a listed ingredient was included, but is not among the agency’s top concerns,” said the spokesperson. “And focusing only on that particular violation detracts from the multitude of serious violations reflected in the letter.”

Gates says his bakery has already taken the first steps to train employees on allergen separation and improve its baking processes.

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