The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said this week that it is to establish a standard of identity for white chocolate.
The standard will provide for the use of the term `white chocolate' as the common or usual name of products made from cacao fat (ie cocoa butter), milk solids, nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners, and other safe and suitable ingredients, but containing no non-fat cacao solids.
In a statement the FDA said that the standard for white chocolate will 'promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers and, to the extent practicable, will achieve consistency with existing international standards of identity for white chocolate.'
According to the FDA the new standard has been established in response to citizen petitions submitted separately by US confectionery manufacturer Hershey Foods and by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association of the United States of America (CMA).
The rule is effective from 1 January 2004 with voluntary compliance beginning immediately.
Further information about the petitions filed and the agency response can be obtained from the FDA website.