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STANDARDS FOR FRUIT PRESERVES
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 1930
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to call of the Chairman, in the committee room, 324 Senate Office Building, Senator Charles L. McNary (chairman), presiding.
Present: Senators McNary (chairman), Norbeck, Thomas of Idaho, Hatfield, Townsend, and Walcott
Present also: Hon. Wesley L. Jones, a Senator from the State of Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. The call this morning to the members of the committee was to consider Senate bill 3470, a bill proposed by Senator Jones of Washington to define fruit jams, fruit preserves, fruit jellies, and apple butter, and to provide standards therefor, under the food and drugs act passed in 1906.
Before we call upon Senator Jones to make a statement, I would like to have inserted in the record the bill under consideration, to be followed by the report thereon of the Department of Agriculture, which is favorable, with suggested amendments.
(Said S. 3470, the bill under consideration by the committee, is here printed in full, as follows:)
(S. 3470, Seventy-first Congress, second session) A BILL To define fruit jams, fruit preserves, fruit jellies, and apple butter, to provide standards therefor
and to amend the food and drugs act of June 30, 1906, as amended Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That for the purposes of the food and drugs act of June 30, 1906 (Thirty-fourth Statutes at Large, page 768), as amended
(1) Preserve, fruit preserve, pure fruit preserve, jam, fruit jam, pure fruit jam shall be understood to mean the clean, sound product possessing definite characteristic flavor of the fruit named on the label, made by cooking to a pulpy or semisolid consistency properly prepared fresh fruit, cold-packed fruit, canned fruit, or a mixture of two or all of these with sugar or with sugar and water, with or without spice and vinegar or harmless organic acids other than acids or acid salts generally recognized as chemical preservatives. In its preparation not less than forty-five pounds of fruit are used to each fifty-five pounds of sugar. In the case of fruits deficient in pectin, or whose composition or texture prevent the preparation of preserve or jam as defined herein of the proper consistency, pectin or pectinous material may be added: Provided, however, That when pectin or pectinous material is added as herein provided, the ratio of not less than forty-five pounds of fruit to each fifty-five pounds of sugar shall be maintained, and the finished preserve or jam containing such added pectin shall contain not less than 68 per centum water-soluble solids derived from the fruit and sugar used in its manufacture.
(2) Jelly, fruit jelly, pure fruit jelly shall be understood to mean the clean, sound, semisolid, gelatinous product possessing definite characteristic flavor of
the fruit named on the label, made by concentrating to a suitable consistency the strained juice, or the strained water extract, from fresh fruit, from coldpacked fruit, from canned fruit, or from a mixture of two or all of these, with sugar. In the case of fruits whose composition prevents the preparation of jelly of the proper texture the necessary quantity of pectinous material and/or harmless organic acids other than acids or acid salts generally recognized as chemical preservatives may be added: Provided, however, That such jelly containing said added pectinous material shall contain not less than 65 per centum of watersoluble solids derived from the fruit and sugar used in its manufacture and its composition shall correspond to not less than fifty pounds of strained pure fruit juice to each fifty pounds of sugar in the original batch.
(3) Apple butter shall be understood to mean the clean, sound product made by cooking with sugar or apple juice, or both, the properly prepared entire edible portion of apples, either fresh, cold packed, canned, or evaporated, to a homogenous semisolid consistency with or without vinegar or harmless organic acids other than acids or acid salts generally recognized as chemical preservatives, salt, and spice. Apple butter shall contain not less than 40 per centum watersoluble solids and be prepared from not more than twenty pounds of sugar to each fifty pounds of fresh, whole apples, or its equivalent in cold-packed, canned, or evaporated apples.
(4) Honey preserve, jam or jelly, corn-sirup preserve, jam or jelly, or any of them, are understood to mean preserve, jam or jelly, as defined herein, in the manufacture of which honey or corn sirup, respectively, has been substituted in whole or in part for sugar.
(5) All food products except those defined in paragraphs 1 to 4, inclusive, which resembled preserve, jam, jelly, or apple butter as defined by this act, except citrous-fruit marmalades, fruit-pie fillings, fruit sauce, and fountaincrushed fruits, labeled and sold as such, shall be understood to be imitation preserve, imitation jam, imitation jelly, imitation apple butter, as the case may be.
SEC. 2. That section 8 of the food and drugs act of June 30, 1906 (Thirtyfourth Statutes at Large, page 768), as amended, is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph:
“Imitation preserve, imitation jam, imitation jelly, imitation apple butter, or any of them shall be deemed to be misbranded if they be not conspicuously labeled 'Imitation preserve,' 'imitation jam, ‘imitation jelly,' or 'imitation apple butter, as the case may be, and the names of the ingredients of which they are composed plainly stated upon the label in the order of their predominance by weight in the product.”
SEC. 3. This act shall be in force and effect from and after the 1st day of November, 1930.
(The report of the Department of Agriculture upon the foregoing bill is here printed in full, as follows:)
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington. Hon. Chas. P. McNARY,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR: I have your letter of February 12, inclosing for my consideration and advice a copy of Senate bill 3470. The purpose, and effect of this measure is to establish definitions and standards for preserves, jams, jellies, and apple butter and to require imitations of those products to be labeled as such.
Precedent for the enactment of definitions and standards for the purpose of the food and drugs act has already been established by the act of March 4, 1923, defining butter and providing a standard therefor (42 Stat. L. 1500). The general provisions of the bill are not in harmonious with the principles of the food and drugs act. Certain changes are regarded as desirable, however, and we do not believe these will be considered by the framers of the measure as objectionable.
In lines 8 and 9 on page 1 the requirement is made that preserve possess definite characteristic flavor of the fruit named on the label. This would apparently permit the labeling as "strawberry preserve" of an article containing a mixture of apple and strawberry in the proportion of 45 parts of the combined fruits with 55 parts of sugar, provided sufficient strawberry be present to impart its characteristic
flavor. Such a label would be deceptive since the article is actually an apple and strawberry preserve. This possibility of deception can be liminated by requiring preserve to possess definite characteristic flavor of the fruit or fruits used in its preparation and by inserting in section 2 a requirement that the fruit or fruits used in preparing the article be plainly and conspicuously named on the label. Furthermore, as the requirement is now framed, it would not seem essential to name any fruit on the label since this part of the bill simply sets up a definition and standard.
In the department's judgment labeling requirements can more logically be made in that part of the bill amending the food and drugs act. The above comments are also applicable to the wording in lines 20 and 21, on page 2, where jelly is defined.
The sweetening agents recognized in the definitions in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4 are sugar, honey, and corn sirup. Paragraph 5 of the same section defines all products which do not comply with the definitions in paragraphs 1 to 4, inclusive, as imitations. It follows therefore that the use of any sweetening agent other than sugar, honey, or corn sirup would necessitate the labeling of the product as an imitation. This appears to be an undue penalty on these commodities containing the full requirement of fruit but in which the manufacturers may wish to use, in whole or in part, other sweetening agents commercially available, among which may be mentioned corn sugar, maple sugar, maple, sirup, cane sirup, sorghum sirup. It is also recognized that, since these commodities as made in the home are almost invariably prepared with sugar, housewives in purchasing the commercial articles expect them to be sweetened with sugar. Deception may, therefore, follow unless the sweetening agent used is plainly and conspicuously declared on the label. The department's suggestion is that provision be made for the use of any wholesome saccharine substance, a definition for which should perhaps be written into the bill, and in the labeling provisions amending the food and drugs act a requirement be inserted that the saccharine substance or substances used in the preparation of the articles be plainly and conspicuously named in the order of their predominance by weight. It is also believed that harmless organic acids and pectin used in the preparation of these articles should be plainly and conspicuously declared on the labels since these substances are not commonly used in the home preparation of these commodities and the purchaser would not normally expect them to be present unless informed of their presence by label declaration. This provision we suggest also appear in the section amending the food and drugs act. The purpose of qualifying the term “harmless organic acids” with the words “other than acids or acid salts generally recognized as chemical preservatives” was probably to prevent the use of benzoic acid or sodium benzoate, frequently used for preservative purposes, without label declaration. The food and drugs act now requires that where benzoic acid or sodium benzoate is used a label declaration of that fact be made. If a requirement is to be inserted in the bill that all harmless organic acids when used be declared on the label, the words “other than acids or acid salts generally recognized as chemical preservatives” may be deleted.
Beginning with line 10 on page 2 appears the proviso that when pectin on pectinous material is used the water-soluble solids in the finished product shall reach at least 68 per cent. This is a necessary provision because, without a limitation on soluble solids, pectin may be used to produce a satisfactory consistency without cooking the product down as much as it should be; in fact, it would be possible to produce a satisfactory consistency by adding considerable amounts of water and cooking sisightly but not enough to evaporate any material amount of water. The same abuse, although in lesser degree, may be effected with some kinds of fruit by the addition of vinegar or organic acids. For these reasons we suggest that in the proviso vinegar and harmless organic acids be treated on a parity with pectin or pectinous material. This may be easily accomplished by an appropriate insertion in line 11, page 2. The same treatment should be accorded harmless organic acid in the proviso to the definition of jelly.
The discussions we have recently had with a number of the proponents of the bill regarding the definition for apple butter, lead to the conclusion that it would be desirable to increase the requirements for water-soluble solids from 40 per cent to 43 per cent. The department indorses this change, which we believe