October 18, 2017 TTB Seal TTB G 2017-9  

 

TTB Public Guidance

   

Distilled Spirits Example Formulas

To help you better understand what information, and how much detail, to include in an alcohol beverage formula application, we've created some example applications for fictitious products. These example formulas are shown as they would appear in Formulas Online, and each includes the supporting documentation (one or more of: Flavor Ingredient Data (FID) sheet, Limited Ingredient Calculation Worksheet, Ingredient Specification Sheet) that should be submitted with the formula.

Each example also includes some information on how the product could be labeled, based on the ingredients and method of manufacture of the product.

Example 1: Imitation Lemon Flavored Vodka

This example is of a product that consists of a finished vodka with an artificial lemon flavor that contains FD&C Yellow #5.

Formulas Online Entry for Example 1: Imitation Lemon Flavored Vodka

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Click to enlarge a view of the formula for Example 1: Imitation Lemon Flavored Vodka as it would appear in Formulas Online.

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Supporting Documentation for Example 1: Imitation Lemon Flavored Vodka

Based on the ingredients used to make this product, the applicant included the following supporting documentation with the formula:

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  1. Flavor Ingredient Data (FID) sheet for the Artificial Lemon flavor
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2-Column Layout
  1. Ingredient specification sheet for the sweetener
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2-Column Layout
  1. Limited ingredient calculation worksheet
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A FID sheet is required for the lemon flavor because it is compounded.

The limited ingredient calculation worksheet is required in this instance to determine that the flavor is "artificial" for labeling purposes.

Classification for Example 1: Imitation Lemon Flavored Vodka

In this example, the amount of synthetic vanillin present in the product exceeds TTB's 40 ppm limit, which is reflected on the limited ingredient calculation worksheet by the term "artificial" in the far right column. If this product was made with a natural flavor, it would be classified as a flavored vodka (Class 9) under 27 CFR 5.22(i) . However, the use of an artificial flavor shifts the beverage to an imitation status (Class 10) under 27 CFR 5.22(j).

Depending on how the submitter plans to market the product, it could also be classified as a distilled spirits specialty (for formula purposes) and labeled with a truthful and adequate statement of composition under 27 CFR 5.35(a). See the Labeling Information section for the difference this change in classification would make for labeling purposes.

The standards of identity for distilled spirits products can be found in 27 CFR 5.22. Consulting the regulations while formulating your product will help you to ensure that your product is classified as the type of product that you intend to make.

 

Labeling Information for Example 1: Imitation Lemon Flavored Vodka

If this product is classified as a Class 10 imitation product, the following information would appear (not necessarily together) on the label:

"Imitation Lemon Flavored Vodka"

and

"Contains FD&C Yellow #5"

Alternatively, the submitter could instead choose to submit this formula application as a distilled spirits specialty product. In that case, an acceptable statement of composition would be:

"Vodka with artificial lemon flavor and FD&C Yellow #5"

 

Example 2: Distilled Spirits Specialty

This example covers a corn whisky that is flavored with whole, natural ingredients (that do not contain added coloring, alcohol, or other components). A natural sweetener and spices are added, and it is bottled with whole, pitted cherries.

Formulas Online Entry for Example 2: Distilled Spirits Specialty

page layout Click to enlarge a view of the formula for Example 2: Distilled Spirits Specialty as it would appear in Formulas Online.

Supporting Documentation for Example 2: Distilled Spirits Specialty

Based on the ingredients used to make this product, the applicant included the following supporting documentation with the formula:

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  • Ingredient specification sheet for the sweetener
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There is no need for a Flavor Ingredient Data Sheet (FID sheet) or a Limited Ingredient Calculation Worksheet in this example because the product does not contain a compounded flavor.

 

Classification for Example 2: Distilled Spirits Specialty

Based on the alcohol content of the finished product (25–30 percent alcohol by volume) and the added ingredients, it does not fit into the whisky standards of identity found in 27 CFR 5.22(b). The addition of whole cherries is allowed under the flavored whisky standards of identity found in 27 CFR 5.22(i), but that class of products must be bottled at not less than 30 percent alcohol by volume, and some of the range of this product falls below that amount. Therefore, this product is not in conformity with any class of products in 27 CFR 5.22 and would be classified as a distilled spirits specialty (for formula purposes) and labeled with a truthful and adequate statement of composition under 27 CFR 5.35(a).

Labeling Information for Example 2: Distilled Spirits Specialty

The suggested statement of composition that we would provide for this distilled spirit specialty product is:

"Corn Whisky with Natural Flavors"

The industry member could either use this generic statement of composition to meet the requirement for class/type statement on the label, or create a more specific labeling statement that discloses the specific flavors.  For example:

"Corn Whisky with Spices and Whole Pitted Cherries"

Other variations of the statement of composition are also possible.

This product also requires a special alcohol by volume statement. Some of the alcohol from the corn whisky base will be absorbed by the cherries over time, potentially causing the required alcohol content labeling statement to be inaccurate. The TTB alcohol content labeling regulations at 27 CFR 5.37(a)(1) take this situation into account and require the following format for the mandatory alcohol content statement for products that contain a significant amount of solid material:

"Bottled at [x] percent alcohol by volume"