Ever walk down a store’s pasta aisle and wonder how the different pastas got their names? Well, as it turns out, pasta names are dictated by U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes definitions of certain products, which are referred to as “standards of identity.” In order to use a name which is the subject of a standard of identity, the product must be produced in a manner that meets that standard. By the same token, a product that meets a standard of identity cannot be called by any other name, as FDA considers the name given by the standard of identity to be the “common or usual name” of the product. For example, only products that are mixes of milk and cream with between 10.5% and 18% milkfat may be called “Half-and-Half.”
FDA has standards of identity for many of the United States’ favorite pasta products based on the ingredients, size, and shape. Spaghetti, for example, must be “tube-shaped or cord-shaped (not tubular) and more than 0.06 inch but not more than 0.11 inch in diameter.” (21 CFR 139.110).
Some product names, such as “penne” or “angel hair,” are not specifically defined by FDA. Consumers think of angel hair as a thinner spaghetti noodle. If you look closely at some of those angel hair products in the store, you’ll find that many also bear the name “vermicelli product” on the front of the box. According to FDA’s standard for macaroni products, vermicelli is “cord-shaped (not tubular) and not more than 0.06 inch in diameter.” (21 CFR 139.110). Products that conform to the complete definition of vermicelli must bear this required name.
There are also a variety of enriched pasta products on the market. The term “enriched” refers to the thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and iron that FDA requires manufacturers to add to those products. As you can see, choosing the correct name for your product in accordance with FDA standards can be more complicated than many people expect.
Registrar Corp’s Label & Ingredient Review regulatory specialists review labeling for pasta and all other types of food products to help manufacturers avoid costly errors. To learn more about FDA’s standards of identity, food ingredients, or any other FDA regulation, contact Registrar Corp 24/7 at https://www.registrarcorp.com or call us at +1-757-224-0177. Or, tweet Registrar Corp (@RegistrarCorp) with specific questions.
About Registrar Corp:
Registrar Corp is a FDA Compliance Consulting Firm that helps companies with U.S. FDA Regulations, including Drug Establishment Registrations and Drug label reviews. Founded in 2003, Registrar Corp has assisted more than 20,000 companies to comply with FDA requirements. With 17 global offices, Registrar Corp’s team of multilingual Regulatory Specialists can help your company to comply with U.S. FDA Regulations.