Hummus manufacturer Sabra wants the government to crack down on everyone's favorite dip. The company recently petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to establish a new standard with an official hummus definition, and an approved list of ingredients.
Sabra cites the dip's growing popularity in the U.S. and the increasing number of non-hummus dips being labeled as hummus as reasons behind the need for a new standard, according to the petition.
Traditional hummus is made using chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
"The marketing of a 'hummus' product made from legumes other than chickpeas is akin to the marketing of guacamole made with fruit other than avocados," reads the petition.
Sabra is asking that the FDA recognize hummus as a semisolid food prepared by mixing dehydrated or dried chickpeas and tahini with approved, specified ingredients. Chickpeas must be the predominant ingredient by weight, except water, and tahini must comprise no less than 5% by weight of the finished product.
The company is requesting that products that don't meet these requirements, such as black bean hummus, not be called hummus.
"This will aid consumer recognition of the product and promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers by eliminating the potential for economic fraud and deception through the substitution or addition of ingredients that destroy the basic nature and essential characteristics of hummus," reads the petition.
We've reached out to Sabra and have yet to hear back. The FDA's decision on the petition is pending.