FDA reopens comment period on use of ultrafiltered milk in certain cheeses
FDA has reported that it has seen the marketplace evolve and believes it is appropriate to give interested persons another opportunity to comment on the issues raised by the rule-making.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reopened the comment period on the proposed rule to permit the use of ultrafiltered (UF) milk in certain cheeses and related cheese products to provide stakeholders an additional 120 days to submit comments. The current comment period will close on 30 March 2020; the new comment period will close 120 days following publication of the notice in the Federal Register. FDA will notify stakeholders when the Federal Register notice publishes.
The agency is reopening the comment period to solicit any new information on current industry practices regarding the use of fluid UF milk and fluid UF nonfat milk and on labelling when used as ingredients.
The proposed rule, which was issued on 19 October 2005, would amend the definitions of “milk” and “nonfat” for cheeses and related cheese products in FDA’s regulations on food standards (often referred to as standards of identity). In 2017, FDA issued guidance to industry indicating that it is exercising enforcement discretion regarding the use and ingredient labelling of fluid UF milk and fluid UF nonfat milk in the manufacture of standardised cheeses and related cheese products while it considers rule-making.
UF is raw or pasteurised milk that is mechanically filtered to concentrate the proteins in milk. In the process, some of the lactose, minerals and water-soluble vitamins are lost, along with water. The resulting protein concentrate is easier and more cost effective to ship. This same process applies to UF nonfat milk, except that raw or pasteurised nonfat is used.
Comments are being accepted for 90 days.