NSF International Launches New Beverage Quality Program

Certification Program Expands Scope and Reach to Meet Bottlers’ Increasing Needs Around the Globe

ANN ARBOR, MI - NSF International (NSF) today announced the launch of a new Beverage Quality Certification Program . The one-of-a-kind program expands the scope of NSF's bottled water program to test, audit and certify natural mineral waters, flavored and functional beverages.

With more than 6 billion gallons of bottled water being purchased each year, consumers are looking for ways to choose products that meet the highest quality and safety standards. NSF's new Beverage Quality Certification Program helps consumers make more informed decisions when it comes to purchasing bottled water and beverages.

“When consumers see the NSF Mark on a bottle's label, they can be confident that it meets the industry's highest standards,” said Nancy Culotta, NSF Vice President. “NSF Certification also allows bottlers to communicate their exceptional commitment to product quality and safety.”

NSF currently certifies approximately 200 bottlers in over 60 countries. Each of these bottlers voluntarily undergo extensive product testing and unannounced, bottling facility audits, which encompass every aspect of the operation from water source to the filling room. NSF performs extensive product testing for over 160 chemicals, inorganic, radiological and microbiological contaminants. As part of the certification process, bottlers are also required to submit a toxicological review of all ingredients. Certification and testing to both United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and European Union (EU) requirements are available.

These additional steps provide consumers with peace of mind. Functional beverages must also meet requirements set forth by NSF's Dietary Supplement Certification Program to verify that the contents of the bottle match what is indicated on the product label.

Consumers have expressed interest in understanding the Carbon Footprint of the products they purchase. In early April, NSF, in collaboration with Zenith International and international emissions measurement expert, Trucost plc, NSF announced the development of a new Carbon Action Plan (CAP) (http://www.nsf.org/business/newsroom/press_releases/press_release.asp?p_id=15958). The global sustainability initiative helps measure and verifies greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the beverage industry. This includes the use of recycled packaging content, renewable/green energy, efficient water use, and off-setting through verified schemes.

For additional information on NSF's Beverage Quality Certification Program, visit http://www.nsf.org/business/bottled_water_and_ice or contact Adam Bloom, General Manager of NSF's Beverage Quality Certification Program at 734-827-3828 or [email protected]. Consumers can also visit http://www.nsf.org/consumer/bottled_water/index.asp for more information on bottled water and beverages.

Background on NSF’s Bottled Water Program
In 1984, due to increased consumer use and interest in bottled water, NSF created a bottled water certification program based on applicable FDA regulations. That same year, NSF developed a relationship with the International Bottled Water Associations (IBWA) and began providing independent inspection and audits of IBWA member facilities as a condition of the bottlers’ IBWA memberships. When the bottled water industry began to expand in the mid 1980s, the NSF bottled water certification program expanded along with it. This expansion continues today.

NSF collaborates with world-leading associations, including IBWA, Bottled Water Cooler Association (BWCA), Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA), European Bottled Watercooler Association (EBWA), Associaçao Brasileira da Industria de Áquas Minerais (ABINAM), Latin American Bottled Water Association (LABWA), International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA) and International Council of Bottled Water Associations (ICBWA).

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

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