After 72 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally exempted current regulations on what is known as the “French bandage.” This final rule, which will be officially in effect on February 14, 2022, has been in place for more than 24 years after a Citizens’ Petition of the Sauces and Sauces Association in 1998.
Dating back to 1950, when there were only three officially designated types of dressings on the shelves, the US Food and Drug Administration created a regulation outlining what French dressings should be. It is generally described as a dressing containing “a fatty component, an acidic component, and a seasoning component”.
While one of the acidifying ingredients includes vinegar or some type of citrus (such as lemon and lime), tomatoes have been used over the years as an acidic ingredient, creating the orange/red color in French clothing that current consumers associate with the product.
Over the years, regulations have become more specific, stating that French marinades must contain a minimum of 35% vegetable oil, making it difficult for innovators to offer “fat-free” or “low-fat” alternatives.
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However, this has not stopped companies from trying to create products that work for customers. Fat-free versions of the French sauce have been sold under inconspicuous titles such as “Creamy French” or “Sweet & Spicy French,” bypassing previous FDA regulations while still making innovative products that they feel customers will enjoy.
However, the US Food and Drug Administration concluded that the issuance of current regulations on French clothing would not only allow innovation for companies, but would also create transparency because current standards “no longer promote honesty and fair dealing for the benefit of consumers.” They also state that “de-standardization can provide greater flexibility in product manufacturing, consistent with similar and non-standard foods available in the market”.
What does this mean for grocery shoppers?
Many expect that French clothing as we know it won’t change much – especially considering that this bandage is already well liked by consumers.
However, you may start to see different types of classic French dressings to suit specific nutritional needs. Instead of having to buy a fat-free “creamy” French dressing, you’ll likely start seeing bottles of a classic fat-free or low-fat French marinade or maybe even some made with different types of oils.
You may even notice some varieties including new ingredients, given that previous French seasoning regulations did not allow additional ingredients to be used in recipes.
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