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C'est la vie: French dressing deregulation by FDA opens doors for new 'identity'

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The battle of the sauces has finally come to a close after a decades-long case over the identity of French dressing. 

The Association for Dressings and Sauces has gone back and forth with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the "standard of identity" which the organization says "restricts innovation" when it comes to the formula of French dressing. 

The ADS is an organization focused on preserving the "interests of the industry" and presents yearly awards for best dressing and sauce products.

What did the standard of identity entail? Standards of identity impose requirements related to the content, ingredients and production of certain food products.

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According to the FDA, the standard of identity for French dressing "characterized it as containing oil, acidifying and seasoning ingredients, and allowed additional safe and suitable ingredients." The ADS called to attention that the standard doesn't require expected ingredients such as tomatoes. 

Now that the standard of identity is revoked, French dressing products will no longer be required to include certain oils and ingredients to be characterized as "French dressing." This opens the door for new flavors and ingredients to be included in French dressing, adding "innovation" to the product. 

"Revoking the standard will allow for greater innovation and more flexibility of products on the market," the FDA's statement read.

The battle for deregulation started on Jan. 13, 1998 when the ADS first filed a petition. The ADS argued regulating the exact ingredients and products that create French dressing was "unfair" and halted innovation in the product. 

"Revocation of the standard of identity for French dressing could provide greater flexibility in the product's manufacture, consistent with comparable, non-standardized foods available in the marketplace," ADS's petition stated.

Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda