Granola bars are often a quick snack throughout the day to provide a boost of energy and satisfy hunger in between meals, but some of the most common bars may not be as a healthy as they claim.
The Food and Drug Administration served Kind LLC, the company behind Kind Bars, with a warning letter to clean up their act March 17. The company was found in violation of multiple infractions containing their labels.
In August 2014, the FDA looked into the labeling four of Kind Bar’s products. The FDA revealed that the Kind Bar flavors Almond and Apricot, Almond and Coconut, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate +Protein, as well as Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants were all misbranded.
According to the report, the biggest violation points to the labels bearing statements that imply the product is good for keeping a good health regime. Phrases such as “good source of fiber,” “low sodium,” “no trans fat,” and “+ protein,” appear on some or all of the products in question.
Aside from pointing out blunt errors, the FDA moves on to pick out exact violations of the bars and why they are not in accordance with mandates. One example pertains to the claim that the bars are “antioxidant-rich.”
The FDA mandates that “antioxidant-rich” food are classified as such when they account for 20 percent or more of more of a Reference Daily Intake nutrients that have been recognized as antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E or beta carotene.
In the case of Kind, the Nutrition Facts label stipulate that the products contain 15% of the daily value for Vitamin E, zero percent of Vitamin C and A.
Another phrase favored by Kind Bars is “healthy,” but the FDA reports that Kind cannot use healthy because it does not meet the requirements. In order to be classified as healthy, a product cannot exceed 15% of calories from saturated fat or exceed 1 gram of saturated fat per 40 grams Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC).
In addition to misbranding, the bars do not contain proper allergen information. The products contain soy; however, the allergen notice does not make note that. They also use the phrase “tree nuts” in place of the specific nuts used in the bars and “dairy” in place of milk.
A final issue the FDA had with Kind LLC was that they do not have a permanent address listed. The address listed on the product labels is in fact a PO box, and the FDA’s attempts to track down their physical address through a 411 search pulled up multiple locations in New York for the company.
Kind LLC announced on their website, kindsnacks.com, Tuesday that they are currently in the process of working on the new labels.
The company also chose to defend why their bars are healthy. A key ingredient in the bars is nuts; however, nuts contain fats that exceed the FDA approved amount.