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FDA Bans Tara Flour Following Illnesses

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prohibited the use and importation of tara flour in the United States, declaring it not “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS). This decision comes nearly two years after an outbreak linked to the ingredient affected approximately 500 individuals in the United States and Canada.

Tara flour was identified as the cause of illnesses associated with Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and Revive Superfoods’ Mango & Pineapple Smoothies in 2022, prompting the FDA’s action to classify it as adulterated and illegal for sale or use.

The GRAS designation, established by Congress in 1958 for food additives with a history of safe use, allows companies to bypass pre-market approval by demonstrating scientific consensus on safety. However, concerns raised by a toxicologist at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition led to the determination that tara flour lacks sufficient data to support its safety as a food ingredient.

Similar findings in Canada resulted in a ban on tara flour in 2023. The outbreak associated with Daily Harvest prompted further investigations, revealing the role of tara flour sourced from Molinos Asociados, Peru. Despite limited studies on its toxicity, tara flour’s use as a food ingredient has raised significant safety questions.

Tara, derived from the tara plant native to Peru, is primarily utilized in leather production due to its hydrolysable tannins. Distinct from tara gum, tara flour lacks adequate characterization and prior usage as a human food ingredient in the United States.

While the FDA has not detected recent shipments of tara flour in imported products, screening measures have been implemented at ports of entry to prevent its entry into the country. As of May 15, there is no evidence of domestic development or manufacturing of products containing tara flour in the United States.

Source: FSN

Reach out to Fresh Group Food Safety And Quality Consulting for any inquiries related to food quality and safety.