FSANZ requests submissions for boozy GM enzyme

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Wednesday, 08 June, 2022

FSANZ requests submissions for boozy GM enzyme

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is requesting submissions regarding possible authorisation to use an enzyme in alcohol and starch processing that has been sourced from a genetically modified microbe. The enzyme is otherwise already widely in use, albeit not from this specific source.

The enzyme, glucoamylase, would be used as a processing aid in alcohol production — specifically, in distillation as a way to degrade certain compounds, which makes it possible to increase yields, efficiently degrade sugars and reduce chances of microbial contamination — and as a way of processing starch in the production of syrups.

The application relates to the use of a GM version of the fungus Aspergillus niger, which has been modified to express the enzyme using a gene from Gloeophyllum trabeum (also a fungus). The enzyme has been put through the safety wringer and FSANZ doesn’t seem concerned, saying that its assessments didn’t find any health or safety concerns for consumers. This GM-sourced enzyme has been approved for use in France and Denmark.

Interested parties can submit their comments by going to the FSANZ call for comments page. The organisation will be accepting submissions until 8 July.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Mr. Music

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