Product FAQ's

Always wanted to know what Struvite is? Click on a question below for some answers!

1. When an imported product is labeled "organic", does it meet the same U.S. organic standards?

Yes. All "organic" and "made with organic" products sold in the U.S. must meet NOP (National Organic Program) standards. For further information regarding the USDA organic requirements, visit www.usda.gov and/or www.qai-inc.com.
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2. Why are there perforated holes in some frozen food packages?

The holes are part of the manufacturing process to release air for proper packing and shipping of the product. So, the holes are not an indication that the quality has been compromised. They're actually intentional. This is more common with fruit and vegetable products. However, if you are unsure, please contact your local store for quality assurance purposes.
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3. Are hormones added to your poultry or pork products?

No. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits the use of hormones in poultry and pork.
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4. Does Trader Joe's sell cage-free eggs?

Yes. All eggs in the Trader Joe's label come only from cage-free hens. Any conventional eggs sold in our stores are in a brand name carton, not under the Trader Joe's label.
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5. Where can I get more information about egg care, quality and general notes?

Please visit the American Egg Board at www.aeb.org.
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6. Why do some dairy labels have the following disclaimer on the label: No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from cows treated with artificial hormones and those not treated with artificial hormones

All dairy products that do NOT contain added rBST must put this disclaimer on the packaging label. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Law requires the disclaimer.
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7. How can some ingredients be listed in a product, when the Nutrition Facts Panel shows that the product contains 0 grams per serving?

Ingredients are listed on the product in descending order by weight. According to the Federal food-labeling guidelines, if a food contains less than 5 milligrams of sodium or fat per serving, the total value found on the Nutrition Facts Panel is rounded down to zero. And if a product contains less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol per serving, this value will be rounded down to zero. For further information about the Nutrition Facts Panel, check out our How to Read a Nutrition Facts Panel document.
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8. What are the Allergen Labeling Standards for Trader Joe's Private Label Products?

As with all health and safety related issues, we take food allergy concerns very seriously. We strive to ensure that all of our Trader Joe's brand products are labeled with reliable, accurate, and easy to read ingredient statements.

Trader Joe's strictly adheres to all Federal labeling guidelines. You can be assured that if any of the top eight allergens (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy) are present in our private label products, they will be clearly labeled in familiar terms in our ingredient statements [e.g. casein (milk)]. You can also be certain that if "natural flavors" or "spices" contain any components that are allergens or are derived from allergens, they will be listed separately within the ingredient statement.

At our customers' request, we are including a "Contains" statement on most of our labels. This statement is an at-a-glance tool where Top 8 allergens present in the ingredients are clearly identified. What this statement doesn't include (there is only so much room on the label) is that all Trader Joe's private label suppliers follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's). We work closely with all of the companies that manufacture our products and require that they are vigilant about minimizing and monitoring any potential cross contamination risk. Some of the steps taken to prevent cross contamination include education and training of employees about allergens, careful labeling and segregation of allergen ingredients, cleaning of lines between production runs and stringent scheduling of product runs. Manufacturers may even use alternate days to process products that contain allergens from those products that do not.

We provide you with all of this information so you can feel confident that you are making informed buying decisions. We want you to feel safe, comfortable and thrilled by with the food choices you are making.

As manufacturers and ingredients can change, we strongly encourage our customers to read ingredient information every time they buy a Trader Joe's brand product (or any product, for that matter).

Want to learn more about food allergies? Check out Food Allergy Research & Education at www.foodallergy.org.
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9. What is the difference between the terms homogenize and pasteurize in dairy (milk) products?

Homogenization is a process by which the fat globules are broken down and evenly interspersed throughout the liquid to create a uniform product. Milk is typically homogenized, but Trader Joe's also typically carries cream top milk. Cream top milk is not homogenized, and the fat floats to the top because the fat molecules are not mechanically broken down.

Pasteurization is a heat process used to kill any potential food borne pathogens. Our suppliers typically use a temperature of 161 degrees for 15 seconds to kill bacteria.
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10. What is the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oats, brown rice, seeds, vegetables and fruits and has been shown to have cholesterol-lowering benefits. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, whole wheat, vegetables and fruit and has shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
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11. What is the difference between saturated, monounsaturated, poly-unsaturated and trans fats?

Saturated fat is a triglyceride molecule that contains only single carbon bonds. They can raise your blood cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. Animal fats found in meat, poultry and whole-milk dairy products are all high in saturated fats.

Monounsaturated fat is when one double carbon bond is present in the fatty acid molecule. Olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, canola oil and avocados are high in monounsaturated fat. According to studies, these fats may help to lower blood cholesterol.

Polyunsaturated fat is another type of unsaturated fat. It has several double carbon bonds. Polyunsaturated fat is predominant in corn oil, cotton seed oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil and fish. This fat has also been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Trans fat is a specific kind of fat that is formed when oil manufacturers change a liquid oil into a solid or semi solid fat, such as shortening or margarine. Hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil to solidify it. This process is called hydrogenation, and it creates trans fats. Trans fats are also found in nature, but in very small amounts in some animal based foods.
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12. What is struvite?

Struvite is a mineral compound. It is formed when minerals found in fish (commonly tuna and salmon) bind together during the canning process. At first glance, it can resemble glass. Upon a closer examination, these crystals are no harder than ordinary table salt. You can generally break the crystals apart with your thumbnail.
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13. I see terms like Quick Release, Time Release and Controlled Release on some supplements. What is the difference?

Quick release products will disintegrate in less than one hour. Time release products will dissolve continually over approximately six hours, whereas, controlled release means the supplement will dissolve continually over 12 hours. Both time release and controlled release provide longer-term absorption.
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14. Are carbohydrates always listed on the Dietary Supplement Facts panel?

According to the FDA, all Dietary Supplements, including protein powders, are not required to list carbohydrates if there is less than 5 milligrams per serving. For more information about our supplements, please check out our brochure on Vitamins and Minerals.
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15. What can I do to keep my pets safe from potentially harmful plants?

Some pets have a penchant for chewing on plants! Being naturally curious and not always as persnickety about what they eat, pets will often chew on plants that are NOT safe to eat.

To ensure the safety of your pets, it is important to be able to identify the plants in your home and yard, to know what plants to keep out of your pets' reach and to be aware of what the consequences are if your pet were to ingest a harmful plant.

There are many resources available via your veterinary and other animal-focused organizations that will help you learn more about how to keep your plants and pets in harmony.
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16. Will Trader Joe's products turn me into a superhero, a professional athlete or one of the great brainiacs of humankind?

Um...well...no. Sorry (seriously, we are because that would be neat). But they will hopefully make your taste buds tingle and leave you with a happy tummy - and wallet. Way better than being a superhero.
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