Always wanted to know what Struvite is? Click on a question below for some answers!
Always wanted to know what Struvite is? Click on a question below for some answers!
Trader Joe's private label products promise great quality fare for exceptional, everyday prices. We taste everything before we put our name on it and offer only what we feel is extraordinary. We tried it. We like it. If you don't, bring it back for a refund or exchange.
When you see our name on a label, you can be assured that the product contains:
1. Artificial flavors are synthetic chemical mixtures that mimic a natural flavor in some way. We use only "natural flavors" in our products, which the FDA has defined as "the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products there of, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional."
2. Preservatives are used in food to prevent spoilage and to maintain nutritional value, appearance and/or flavor for a longer period. Artificial preservatives are synthetically produced chemical substances, like disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid or butylated hydroxyanisole. Our theory is, if it is tough to get out of the mouth, don't put it in the mouth. For preservation purposes, we choose to use substances from natural sources like sugar, salt, vinegar, celery juice and/or rosemary extract. There are two almost exceptions: sulfur dioxide and potassium sorbate. We use nominal amounts of sulfur dioxide, a naturally occurring gas that forms when the mineral sulfur is heated, to preserve the color, flavor and moisture of some of our dried fruit. Similarly, we use potassium sorbate, the potassium salt of sorbic acid, to enhance the moisture retention in prunes. If either of these elements is used, it is always clearly called out on the label. And in both of these cases, we offer alternative products without the sulfur or the potassium sorbate. Choices are important.
3. Food coloring is anything added to food or beverages for the purpose of changing its color. Some colors, like FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 5 or FD&C Blue No. 2, are derived from coal tar and are processed & manufactured chemically. We NEVER use such colors in our products. Rather, we use only colors derived from naturally available products like plants (e.g. beets, beta carotene, turmeric, annatto, and paprika) and minerals (e.g. titanium dioxide or ferrous gluconate).
Trader Joe's Products are sourced from Non-GMO ingredients.
Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of genetically engineered ingredients. When developing products containing ingredients likely to come from genetically modified sources, we have the supplier of the product perform the necessary research to provide documentation that the suspect ingredients are from non-GMO sources. This documentation is in the form of affidavits, identity-preserved certification of seed stock, and third-party lab results from testing of the ingredients in question. In addition to this work done in developing a given item, we conduct random audits of items with potentially suspect ingredients, using an outside, third-party lab to perform the testing.
Given our position on GMO ingredients in Trader Joe's label products, and the work done in support of that position, it is our expectation that our products test as non-GMO. We're unable to make the same claims for branded products (products not in the Trader Joe's label).
We are also unable to confirm that animal products (meat, dairy and some farmed fish) sold under the Trader Joe's label are raised on only non-GMO feed, due to the prevalence of GMOs in the commodity grain market, and the limited availability of verified non-GMO feed. For customers looking to avoid products from animals fed GMOs, we continue to carry organic meat and dairy products (organic standards prohibit the intentional use of GMOs) and wild-caught seafood. All organic products, regardless of brand, are by definition non-GMO.
*Genetic Modification is a technique that changes the genetic makeup of cells, producing new combinations of genes and traits that do not occur in nature. Plants and animals that have been altered in this way are called GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, or GE, genetically engineered.
We have yet to take the approach of labeling products as non-GMO because there are no clear guidelines from the US governmental agencies covering food and beverage labeling. Instead of waiting for such guidelines to be put into effect, and based upon customer feedback, we took a more holistic approach and made the no GMO ingredients position part of what the Trader Joe's label encompasses.
We introduced our first organic Trader Joe's product back in the 1970s (it was Organic Unfiltered Apple Juice), nearly three decades before "Organic" became a mainstream movement.
Our customers told us they enjoyed having organic options, so we continued to incorporate more and more organic offerings—milk, yogurt, apples, lettuce, cereal, meat, almonds, cashews, extra virgin olive oil, beans, frozen pizza, chocolate, bread, cheese, pasta, wine…the list goes on. In fact, we sell approximately four times more organic products than a typical grocery store.
All the while, we've remained focused on only providing products (organic-certified included) that are an exceptional value, which to us means they must be great quality and a great price. Take Trader Joe's Organic Ketchup (which is the only ketchup we sell)—it's really tasty and costs about the same as many conventional (not organic) brand name ketchups that other retailers sell. We've made organic products accessible.
As our customers continue to express their interest in organic offerings, we will continue to develop new sources and products, as always focused on the great value they present.
Yes. All "Organic" and "Made with Organic" products sold in the U.S. must meet standards set out by the National Organic Program (NOP), the federal regulatory framework governing organic food.
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).
To help clarify the use of BPA in our packaging, we've categorized the kind of packages that are non-BPA, the packages that contain BPA, and the packages that contain BPA that never comes into contact with food. We've noted all exceptions, so some items do appear on two different lists. Please review carefully and be aware that the information is updated regularly, as our suppliers discover and adapt non-BPA alternatives:
ALL Tetra-Pak® Cartons
ALL Plastic Bottles, Tubs & Containers
ALL Canned Coconut Milk & Coconut Cream
ALL Pet Food
MOST Canned Beans, Fruits & Vegetables (EXCEPT: Mandarins, Hatch Chilies, Artichokes & Olives and Giant Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce)
MOST Canned Fish, Chicken & Beef (EXCEPT: Sardines, Crabs, & Cherrystone Clams)
Organic Vegetarian Chili
Tunisian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Packages with BPA:
Canned Cherrystone Clams
Canned Giant Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce
Canned Grecian Style Eggplant with Tomatoes & Onions
Canned Hatch Chilies
Canned Sardines (EXCEPT: Boneless-Skinless Sardines in Olive Oil from Morocco, and Boneless-Skinless Sardines in Water from Tunisia)
Canned Soups & Stews (EXCEPT: Organic Vegetarian Chili)
The Metal Lids of Glass Jars DO contain BPA, but it DOESN'T come into contact with the food:
Every glass jar item has a metal lid. All metal lids DO have a layer of BPA coating, but there is coating of another material put on top of the BPA coating. Thus, the BPA is never in direct contact with the food. Test results from multiple suppliers show that there is no BPA detected from metal lids.
Addressing customer concerns—including the issues of over-fishing, destructive catch or production methods, and the importance of marine reserves—we have been committed to ensuring that all of our seafood purchases (frozen, fresh, canned, etc.) are from sustainable sources and aiming to use our purchasing power to leverage change within the seafood supply community.
Based on customer feedback and in support of our work to source sustainable seafood—we stopped selling Chilean Sea Bass in 2005, Orange Roughy in July of 2009, Red Snapper in March of 2010, and Frozen Swordfish caught in Southeast Asia in 2012.
We have used reputable sources, like the Seafood Watch list, to help focus our product development. We've added new seafood items to our line of canned goods: in May of 2010, we introduced Wild Pink Shrimp from Oregon; in January of 2011, we started to offer Wild Cherrystone Clams from Maine; and in November of 2013, we introduced pole-and-line caught Canned Skipjack Tuna—a species that are inherently resistant to fishing pressures. Similarly, we've done work to add new offerings to our frozen seafood selections. In April of 2011, we started to offer frozen Arctic Char. And in September of 2013, we introduced Frozen Barramundi Fillet.
In 2013, we also switched our sourcing methods for several products in order to help minimize the potential for bycatch. We switched our sourcing of Canned Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil from long-line catch methods to pole and line catch methods and we transitioned our canned Albacore Tuna items to sources using a circle-hook and nylon lead catch method.
We don't pay third-party entities to provide us with a sticker that we can put on our labels to certify our sustainability intent. Rather, we hold our vendors and ourselves accountable for the responsible management of farms and wild fisheries, every day. It makes better sense to us, and better cents for our customers.
Our work continues.
We understand the importance of our customers' decisions when it comes to their grocery shopping and do not presume to make choices for them; we work hard to offer products we think fit our customers' needs—covering a range of considerations.
When it comes to meat and poultry, Trader Joe's offers items from sources of a conventional nature (where antibiotics are likely used) and sources that do not use antibiotics (organic, all natural or explicitly labeled as antibiotic-free [ABF]). Among the antibiotic-free items currently available are: Ground Beef and Beef Patties, Beef Tri-Tip (plain and marinated), Angus Steaks (Ribeye and New York Strip), Beef Filet Roasts, Sliced Roast Beef, Beef Hot Dogs, fully cooked Beef Sirloin, various Chicken items, a variety of Sausage and Meatballs, Ground Turkey, Sliced Turkey, Sliced Ham, Bacon, and Lamb Loin Chops. (Please note: selection of products in our stores may vary.)
As is made plain by the offerings in our stores, we are interested in making available to our customers products made with meat and poultry raised without the use of antibiotics—and our interest comes from feedback from our customers. We go to great lengths to make these items as consistently available as possible and are focused on the value they present—great quality at a great price. In support of our customers' looking for a variety of meat and poultry options, we continue to develop new sources to support new product offerings across a range of attributes, including antibiotic-free (ABF) products.
The government (USDA) defines "Natural," as used in the labeling of meat and poultry products, accordingly: "A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as "no artificial ingredients; minimally processed")."
For Trader Joe's private label meat and poultry products, the term "All Natural" means more than just the USDA-defined "minimally processed, containing, no artificial ingredients or added color;" it also means that the animals are given no hormones ever and no antibiotics ever.
No. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits the use of hormones in poultry and pork.
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.
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.
In keeping with our efforts to offer outstanding products (great quality at great prices to deliver real value) that meet our customers' needs, we provide our customers with a choice of eggs.
Here is an overview of labeling statements found on cartons of eggs in Trader Joe's stores that may help you better understand the choices we offer.
Grade: USDA Grades are assigned to eggs based on interior quality, appearance, and overall condition. Egg size has no relationship to egg grade.
U.S. Grade AA eggs have whites that are thick and firm; yolks that are high, round, and practically free from defects; and clean, unbroken shells.
U.S. Grade A eggs have the same characteristics as Grade AA, except the whites are "reasonably" firm.
Size: Egg sizing is based on weight. The size listed on an egg carton relates to the minimum net weight for the dozen eggs; for example, Large eggs = 24 ounces per dozen, Extra Large = 27 ounces per dozen, and Jumbo = 30 ounces per dozen. Larger eggs generally have more protein than smaller eggs.
Color: The color of the shell of an egg is determined by the breed of the laying hen. There is no significant nutritional difference between white and brown eggs.
Organic: Eggs with the USDA's National Organic Program label come from uncaged hens that are free to roam in their houses and have access to the outdoors. The hens are fed an organic (non-GMO) vegetarian diet produced without conventional pesticides or fertilizers.
Cage-Free: Eggs labeled "cage-free" are laid by hens that are allowed to roam in a room or open area, which is typically a barn or poultry house.
Free-Range: "Free-range" eggs are produced by hens raised outdoors or with access to outdoors. In addition to the feed provided, these hens may also eat wild plants and insects.
Omega-3 Enriched: The hens that lay these eggs are fed a diet designed to boost the omega-3 content of their eggs.
Fertile: Fertile eggs are laid by hens in contact with roosters.
CA SEFS Compliant: These eggs are produced in compliance with California's Shell Egg Food Safety laws and the California Health and Safety Code section 25990 (Prop. 2), as required by section 25996 (AB 1437). All eggs sold in Trader Joe's California stores are compliant with Prop. 2 and AB 1437.
All Natural: Within USDA parameters for egg labeling, "natural" means nothing was added to the eggsâ€”such as flavorings or coloring.
No Antibiotics: None of the eggs sold in the U.S. contain antibiotics. A "No Antibiotics" designation indicates the eggs come from hens raised without the use of antibiotics.
No Hormones: Hormones aren't allowed to be given to chickens; Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in poultry or egg production.
Simply. To make Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, fresh, certified-organic coconuts are de-husked and grated. The fresh coconut meat is then milled (ground into fine granules) and dried for about 2½ hours at a temperature of 104-113°F (40-45°C), before being cold pressed; and filtered, without the use of chemicals or preservatives. NO excessive heat. NO harsh conditions. NO chemicals. NO bleaching. NO preservatives.
Our Organic Virgin Coconut Oil can be qualified by the following attributes: "virgin" and "cold pressed" and "unrefined."
Our olive oils are just that: olive oils. In addition to the various tests and certificates our suppliers provide, we also have our olive oils tested by independent third-party labs. Please be assured, what it says on the label is what's in the bottle.
Yes! Extra Virgin means several things, including the fact that the oil was cold-pressed. Cold pressed means it has been mechanically pressed, which is usually done using an expeller. That would be in contrast to heat and/or chemical oil extraction. Extra Virgin also means it is from the first cold pressing. And that the acidity is below 0.8%. And further, that the oil must exceed certain minimum color, smell and taste standards.
For more helpful information, check out our Guide to Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
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.
The holes are part of the manufacturing process to release air for proper packing and shipping of the product. 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.
Decaffeination is the removal of caffeine from coffee beans. As caffeine is a natural component of coffee beans, it is very difficult to remove it entirely. Per United States guidelines, decaffeinated coffees need to have at least 97% of the caffeine removed.
We use three decaffeination methods: water, carbon dioxide, or ethyl acetate.
Water method: water is run through coffee beans, creating an extract. The extract is passed through a charcoal filter or through activated carbon to remove the caffeine. After the caffeine is removed, the extract is added back to the coffee beans to add back the flavor.
Carbon Dioxide method: carbon dioxide (CO2) in a pressurized liquid form is circulated past the coffee beans to remove the caffeine. The caffeine adheres to the CO2, which is removed, taking the caffeine along with it.
Ethyl Acetate method: first, the beans are submitted to a condition of water and steam to elevate their moisture content and make them swell, which facilitates in the extraction. Using an extracting vessel, the beans are washed in ethyl acetate (CH3CO2C2H5), a solvent obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane. The beans are then cleaned with water, followed by steam (to reach the innermost part of the bean), before being dried to their original moisture levels.
Our beans are decaffeinated in the green state, and are then sent to the roaster. We work to roast our decaf beans as closely as possible to their caffeinated counterparts.
Per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gluten free labeling regulation, a product that displays a "Gluten Free" claim on the label has been validated to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. If you see "Gluten Free" on a Trader Joe's product, this means that the product has been validated to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.
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.
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.
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, cottonseed 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.