July 22, 2024

New Gum Prompts FDA to Rethink Caffeine Food Safety Rules

The rollout of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum by the William Wrigley Jr Co. this week has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rethink the impact that caffeine as a food additive could have on children and teens. One piece of the gum, which is sold in eight-piece bubble packs, has about as much caffeine as a half a cup of coffee, according to information on the product’s webpage. The product is the latest in a string of foods to which caffeine has been added including jelly beans, trail mix and other gums. Now that coffees and soft drinks aren’t the only source of caffeine on the market, the agency is revisiting caffeine’s health impact. "The only time that FDA explicitly approved the added use of caffeine in a food was for cola and that was in the 1950s. Today, the … [Read more...]

USDA OKs Sodium Benzoate, Other Food Preservatives

Three food preservatives that have previously been prohibited for use in meat and poultry will be approved effective May 6, 2013.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) says it has determined that sodium benzoate, sodium propionate and benzoic acid are “safe and suitable for use as antimicrobial agents in certain [ready-to-eat} RTE meat and poultry products,” according to announcement in the Federal Register. The additives are already approved for use in other food items such as salad dressings, carbonated beverages and fruit juice and condiments. The change came about after Kraft Foods Global, Inc. petitioned FSIS in 2006 to allow the use of the preservatives for use as antimicrobial agents to inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogenes … [Read more...]

Canadian Government Updates Some Food Additive Regulations

The Canadian government is updating rules to regulate food additives. Last week, the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced the changes. She said in a statement, "these changes are further proof that our Government is serious about protecting the health and safety of Canadian consumers and their families." Food additives are those ingredients that affect a food's flavor, color, consistency, and texture and remain in the finished product. According to the news release, "even when scientists showed a new additive could reduce the risk of a potential serious food-borne illness outbreak, it took an additional 12 to 18 months for the regulatory process to actually change the list and make the product legal." New additives will still have to undergo safety assessments, but … [Read more...]

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