Guar Gum subject to new food safety rules

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GuarNT USA FSMA FSVP infographic

Guar gum is a label-friendly ingredient derived from the guar plant (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) almost exclusively grown in India and Pakistan. Food developers use this highly versatile hydrocolloid to build viscosity and control water migration in a wide range of finished goods including ice cream, instant beverages, sauces, baked goods, fruit preparations and syrups.

The recent implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aims to ensure the U.S. food supply, including imported food and ingredients, is safe. Focus has shifted from responsive measures concerning contamination risks to implementing enhanced preventative measures. This heightened responsibility has been placed with all food manufacturers and importers.

Although there are many items to consider in FSMA regulations, GuarNT® USA can help alleviate concerns around two key elements pertaining to guar:

  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) which includes verification activities like on-site audits and review of supplier records
  • Preventive Controls for Human Food which includes a written Food Safety Plan and Supply Chain Program as well as updated Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs)

GuarNT® USA eliminates the need for costly international audit trips and introduces a validated microbiological kill step early in the supply chain to ensure preventive controls.

Benefits of GuarNT USA from TIC Gums

  • Manufactured and warehoused in the USA in a Safe Quality Foods (SQF) level 3 facility
  • US production eliminates need to audit foreign suppliers
  • Manufactured using a validated microbiological kill step that ensures preventive control is in place
  • Shorter lead times and less inventory required
  • Products available:

To talk with a Gum Guru about your specific food texture and stability needs, call our technical support hotline +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is FSMA and how does it affect me?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aims to ensure that the U.S. food supply, including imported foods and ingredients, is safe by implementing new authorities and mandates. FSMA concentrates on the preventative steps that can be taken to avoid contamination, instead of focusing on how to respond after a food safety emergency has occurred. Some key requirements of FSMA include Preventive Controls for Human Food and Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FVSP).

What are Preventive Controls?

Preventive Controls are risk-based procedures, processes and practices applied to significantly minimize or prevent hazards in human food. Preventive Controls include a series of controls and steps that must be implemented in order to be compliant with FSMA; they include process controls, allergen control, sanitation control, supply chain and recall plan.

What is FSVP and am I responsible?

The Foreign Supplier Verification Program requires manufacturers to verify that their foreign suppliers are meeting U.S. food safety standards. Under the FSVP rule importers are required to determine if food hazards are present, evaluate for possible risk, and determine and conduct appropriate verification activities, such as on-site audits and review of supplier records.

When do I have to be FSMA compliant?

There are staggered dates for compliance based on company need and size. To find your specific compliance date, visit the FDA’s Compliance Date Extensions and Clarifications for FSMA Final Rules.

How will GuarNT USA help me reach FSMA compliance?

TIC Gums manufactures and warehouses GuarNT USA in an SQF Level 3 facility in Belcamp, Maryland. When it comes to Preventive Controls, our proprietary manufacturing process includes a validated microbiological kill step. This important step ensures product safety and mitigates the risk of recalls or legal penalties associated with foodborne illness. Additionally, because GuarNT USA is manufactured in the United States, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program is not applicable and, therefore, reduces the steps a manufacturer must meet to be FSMA compliant.

What are the benefits of sourcing finished guar powder within the USA?

As mentioned, by sourcing GuarNT USA from TIC Gums, manufacturers do not have to worry about the FSVP associated with FSMA compliance. Also, sourcing guar in the USA allows easy access to an audit facility, avoiding extreme international traveling expenses and costs associated with hiring a third party auditor. Finally, because product is easily accessible, manufacturers have the flexibility to carry less inventory in their facility if desired.

What do you mean by a ‘Validated Microbiological Kill Step’?

Under the Preventive Controls for Human Food provision, FSMA requires food manufacturers to develop and implement a Food Safety Plan that includes a hazard analysis and a plan to eliminate those hazards. There must be documented, scientific, technical evidence to prove these hazards have been significantly minimized or prevented in the manufacturing process.

A ‘Validated Kill Step’ is a scientific procedure that provides documented evidence that a process is capable of consistently eliminating a known hazard. In terms of food safety, a known hazard is often a pathogenic microorganism. Securing kill step validation begins when a company designs a process intended to eliminate or significantly reduce the existence of a known pathogen. The process is then tested by a third party lab for accuracy and effectiveness. Once the process is determined to be effective, the lab provides scientific evidence showing that this process will always yield the same successful results.

Why is it important that GuarNT USA includes a validated kill step?

For preventive controls, most products will undergo a kill step during production (ie. cooking, baking, chemical treatment), however these steps often lack scientific proof or validation. The proprietary process in which GuarNT USA is made includes a validated kill step. This means that during manufacturing GuarNT USA is exposed to a kill step designed by TIC Gums that was validated by a 3rd party laboratory to ensure consistent success. This demonstrates that the preventive control set in place is effectively controlling the hazard and ensures product safety early in the supply chain. GuarNT USA effectively helps meet safety standards, avoid recalls and promote consumer assurance.

What applications work best with GuarNT USA?

GuarNT USA is a highly versatile hydrocolloid that builds viscosity and controls water migration in a wide range of finished goods including ice cream, instant beverages, sauces, baked goods, fruit preparations and syrups. Because guar is considered a seed gum, derived from the seed of the guar plant, GuarNT USA adheres to regularly used clean label parameters. Check out more information on seed gums here.

What products does TIC Gums have available?

TIC Gums currently has GuarNT USA 8/22 and GuarNT USA Flavor Free 5000 in inventory.

Why might I need a flavor-free version?

Some applications using standard guar gum may have usage level restrictions due to “beany” or “grassy” off-notes in both flavor and odor. TIC Gums’ Gum Gurus® have identified these “off notes” are predominantly caused by the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) hexanal & hexanoic acid, among others. TIC Gums ensures a significant reduction of volatile compounds in GuarNT USA Flavor Free 5000 compared to standard guar gum. A further study by a panel of sensory professionals from North Carolina State University Food Science Department confirm the typical beany flavor prominent in standard guar gum is not detectable in GuarNT USA Flavor Free 5000.

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