The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released final guidance stating its view that sweeteners derived from sugar cane should not be declared in the statement of ingredients as “evaporated cane juice.” FDA’s view is that the term “evaporated cane juice” is false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is fruit or vegetable juice or is made from fruit or vegetable juice, and does not reveal that the ingredient’s basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.

FDA’s guidance recommends that ingredients currently labeled as “evaporated cane juice” be relabeled to use the term “sugar,” optionally accompanied by a truthful, non-misleading descriptor to distinguish the ingredient from other cane-based sweeteners. Such a descriptor could be a coined term, and can be used to distinguish the ingredient from white sugar and other sugars by describing characteristics such as source, color, flavor or crystal size. FDA would expect such a descriptor to appear before the common or usual ingredient name “sugar.”