Standards for energy drinks, artifical sweeteners and icon foods in Australia

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Energy drinks, New zealand, Australia new zealand, Caffeine, Milk

A new standard for energy drinks was just one measure among many
food issues agreed last week by ministers meeting for the first
time at the newly formed Australia New Zealand Food Standards
Council.

A new standard for energy drinks was just one measure among many food issues agreed last week by ministers meeting for the first time at the newly formed Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council (ANZFSC). Health ministers from the Commonwealth, the States and Territories and the New Zealand Government are present on the Council as well as other ministers with relevant portfolios. Formulated Caffeinated Beverages (FCBs or Energy Drinks) are to be manufactured in Australia, whereas they were all previously imported from New Zealand. Ministers also decided that "energy drinks" will be labelled "this food contains caffeine"; and "this food is not recommended for children, pregnant or lactating women and individuals sensitive to caffeine". The standard is due to take effect before 31 August. The Council also pushed forward standards relating to health claims. It agreed that the Food Regulation Standing Committee develop a policy framework for health and nutritional claims for further advice to Ministers. The Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) undertook to revise aspects of the drafting of the proposed standard. Other measures agreed upon include the adoption of basic compositional standards of identity for "icon" foods: chocolate, peanut butter, ice cream, cream, yoghurt, jam and protein levels in milk. This means that the main ingredient present in the product must not be lower than specified levels. For instance a minimum of 20 per cent cocoa solids and a maximum 5 per cent fats other than cocoa butter and diary fat for chocolate, a minimum peanut level of 85 per cent for peanut butter and a minimum of 40 per cent of ingoing fruit for jam. The ministers also allowed a variation to the list of approved artificial sweetening substances to include a new substance called Neotame. Neotame has a sweetness potency 7000-13000 times greater than that of sugar. ANZFA​ had advised that it poses no risk to public health and safety.

Related topics: Regulation & Policy

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