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Producers Sweat Over Hot Sauce Labels Compliance

FDA Has Many Guidelines For Hot Sauce Labels

If you're thinking about adding a specialty hot sauce to your menu, you may want to brush up on your knowledge of federal requirements for such labels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates all food-canning establishments in the United States adhere to establishment registration and file scheduled processes. There are several registrar guidelines for formulating, bottling, labeling and selling your hot sauce. The formulation must meet all guidelines in order to be approved by the FDA.

Ingredients Should Be Highlighted On Labels
Before you begin the process for making labels, it's important to think about what ingredients you want to go into your hot sauce. The amount, variety and use of certain spices can dramatically affect how spicy your sauce is and how you must label it. Hot sauces are rated based on the Scoville Scale. The rank of a hot sauce's "level of hotness" is based on the chemical compound found in peppers. The number of Scoville Heat Units (SHU) determines what level sauces​ are labeled. SHUs will dictate where a sauce falls under the following categories and must correspond by labeling the product as such:

  • Type I - Hot
  • Type II - Extra hot 4x
  • Type III - Green
  • Type IV - Chipotle
  • Type V - Habanero
  • Type VI - Garlic
  • Type VII - Chili and lime
  • Type VIII - Sweet and spicy
  • Type IX - Other

Just remember to have fun with the entire process. Use the brand name to grab consumer attention. It may also be advisable to boldly state what ingredients are used and a warning sign on the bottle label so consumers know just how hot it might get. Some of our favorite sauce names include: Frost Bite, Magma, Scorned Woman, Devil Juice and Colon Cleaner.