New York and California propose bans on 5 common food additives

Food ingredient awareness is driving the clean label trend in the food industry. Typically, national food safety agencies such as the Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lead the regulation of food ingredients in their respective national jurisdictions. However, sub-national (state and/or provincial) legislators occasionally get involved. Should New York or California pass a proposed ban, it will affect product formulation at a national level. Retailers will want confirmation that products do not contain potentially problematic ingredients. 

Proactive food manufacturers have already found alternatives for the potentially targeted food ingredients. These kinds of changes require formulation testing, recipe changes, ingredient panel changes, supplier negotiation and inventory controls. 

The outcomes of ingredient bans are costly product recalls along with inventory management and product liability issues. The five target ingredients include:

  • Red dye No. 3 (icing, nutrition shakes, maraschino cherries, peppermint/berry/cherry-flavoured candies). RD-3 was banned by the FDA in 1990 for use in cosmetics
  • Titanium dioxide (whitener/anti-caking agent used in baked goods, creamy salad dressings, frozen dairy/cheese pizza and ice cream).
  • Bromated vegetable oil (an emulsifier in fruit drinks and sodas)
  • Potassium bromate (baked goods – breads, cookies and tortillas for leavening)
  • Propylparaben (a preservative for packaged baked goods, particularly pastries and tortillas)



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