Public to consider proposed food code changes

Friday, 07 October, 2005

Changes to the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code " which is designed to protect consumers and ensure that manufacturers provide adequate information to the buying public " have been proposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

The changes include a review of novel food standard (described by FSANZ as "non traditional foods that have features or characteristics which raise possible safety concerns" because they do not have a history of significant human consumption in Australia or New Zealand), the use of medium chain triglycerides in infant formula, two new processing aids, and amendments to some maximum residue limits.

FSANZ has received an application from the Beer, Wine and Spirits Council of New Zealand to amend the Code to exempt beer and wine from the requirement to declare the presence of isinglass on the label.

Isinglass " a processing aid derived from fish " is used as a clarifying agent for beer and wine. It is identified on the label to protect people who may suffer from an adverse reaction to fish products. The exemption is being sought on the basis that isinglass has a long history of safe use as a processing aid in wine and beer.

Danisco Australia, an ingredients manufacturer, has applied for approval to use the enzyme lipase triacylglycerol, produced using recombinant DNA techniques from the host yeast Hansenula polymorpha, as a processing aid. The enzyme is used in bread making to improve dough stability and dough handling properties.

Processing aids must undergo a pre-market safety assessment before approval for use in Australia and New Zealand, therefore FSANZ is seeking information to assist its assessment of the Danisco application.

Background information on all the proposed changes can be found on the FSANZ website with details on how individuals and organizations can make a submission.

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