Committee Structure

Food Safety Committee

The IFAC Food Safety Committee leads IFAC activities to address and advance food safety regulatory activities throughout the world.  In the U.S., the committee addresses issues related to the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and has developed several guidance documents, including the IFAC Good Manufacturing Practice and Quality Assurance (GMP/QA) Guide for Food Additives and GRAS Substances, the IFAC GMP/QA Audit Guide and the IFAC GRAS Best Practices Guide [Link to page where these can be downloaded].  The GMP and Audit Guides provide baseline guidance on ensuring product safety and quality during the manufacturing process, while the GRAS Guide provides best practices for establishing a GRAS position for new ingredients.

The committee also monitors and comments on international regulations as needed. Recently, the committee has become more active in helping IFAC members address customs and import challenges by working closely with government agencies with the mission of further trade. The committee is also active in sharing food ingredient and regulatory expertise internationally through participation in symposium and as guest speakers at programing around the globe.  Recent topics on which committee members have presented include global harmonization and chemophobia. For additional information on IFAC’s global activities

Microbial Food Cultures and Probiotics Committee

IFAC’s Microbial Food Cultures and Probiotics Committee addresses regulatory, scientific and technical and issues related to the use of microbial food cultures (MFCs), including food fermentation starter organisms, and probiotics. The Committee regularly engages with the U.S. FDA regarding the GRAS status of MFCs, relevant Agency guidance documents and the use of new dietary ingredients. The Committee also works with the USDA’s NOP, regarding cultures used in organic food, and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), to address international regulations on cultures and probiotics. Additionally, the Committee provides input to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) regarding the use of cultures in animal feed.

The Committee also sponsors and develops published research and related scientific materials. To further expand the scope of its activities, the Committee has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the European Food and Feed Cultures Association (EFFCA), and works with the International Probiotic Association (IPA) and the International Scientific Association for Prebiotics and Probiotics (ISAPP).  Additionally, the Committee developed a Food Chemicals Codex Monograph for MFCs and provides input to CCFA regarding member company products.

Communications Committee

One of IFAC’s newest committees, the Communications Committee works to inform the public about ingredient issues through messaging that is science based yet easily understood.  The committee has developed materials to address challenges to the U.S. food additive regulatory system, including the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) process, and has overseen the development of IFAC’s consumer-focused website, www.makingfoodbetter.org.  The committee is also active in responding to inaccurate media coverage of ingredients when appropriate and utilizes the scientific expertise of IFAC members to evaluate, respond to and promote scientific research.

Food Gums Committee

The IFAC Food Gums Committee represents the global interests of members that produce hydrocolloids and other substances used in foods as emulsifiers, stabilizers and thickeners. The committee is extremely active in regulation and standards development, particularly through the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA), the U.S. National Organic Program (NOP) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The committee has also developed and submitted extensive data and information to the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in support of food gums.  JECFA has established acceptable daily intakes for these materials, often based largely on the data IFAC supplied.

The committee maintains close communication with other hydrocolloid associations, including Biopolymer International, the International Pectin Producers Association (IPPA) and the Organisation des Fabricants de Produits Cellulosiques Alimentaires (OFCA).  The Committee works closely with members and these organizations to develop regulatory submissions, data and other public positions.

The committee also works closely with Marinalg International, which joined IFAC as a separate section in 2014.  That strategic partnership has further enhanced IFAC’s ability to address threats to food gums by leveraging Marinalg’s activities and communications strategies as they relate to seaweed derived hydrocolloids.

Phosphates Committee

The IFAC Phosphates Committee serves as a resource for scientific information to promote and maintain the use of phosphates and phosphoric acid in food in the global market.  This includes work with food regulatory agencies in the U.S., Canada and other countries. The committee has also been active at CCFA in promoting a global approach to phosphate standards that ensures consistency in allowances of phosphates in foods internationally.

In recent years, the committee has successfully petitioned for allowance of specific potassium phosphates in Canada, has updated technical functionality information for the CCFA General Standard for Food Additives and has provided information to update food ingredient monographs in the FCC.  The committee also supports important research when needed, such as scientific literature reviews, in order to expand the knowledge base of phosphates usage in foods, and to respond to questions from regulatory bodies.  Increasingly, the committee, working with the Communicaitons Committee, has also responded to media coverage of phosphate ingredients, pushing out science based messaging that underscores the limited dietary contributions of phosphorus from phosphate food ingredients.

Membership Committee

The IFAC Membership Committee is committed to promoting the benefits of the association to ingredient producers and other interested stakeholders and cultivating a diverse membership that is representative of the global food ingredient industry and consistent with IFAC’s mission.  The committee develops membership materials, identifies prospective members, conducts outreach and otherwise supports the membership needs of the organization.