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Australia, NZ have new permissible level for steviol glycosides

Australia and New Zealand’s food standards body has approved an application for higher maximum permitted levels of steviol glycosides in ice cream and several beverage categories, which will enable a more acceptable taste profile in finished products, according to

FSANZ approved the use of steviol glycosides as sweeteners in October 2008, as long as the preparation is 95%, the nine named steviol glycosides, in accordance with the FAO/WHO JECFA specifications. It set out certain limits for different food and beverage categories.

However in October 2009 Cargill made an application to raise the permitted levels in 2009, arguing that higher usage would enable more pleasant tasting products. The JECFA specification gives food formulators some leeway to adjust the levels of different steviol glycosides to obtain the most suitable taste balance.

Other specifications, such as the initial FDA GRAS notifications in the US and the current French requirement for 97% rabausioside A purity, are more restrictive.

Following one round of consultation, FSANZ has now given the green light for maximum permitted levels in ice cream, water based beverages, brewed soft drinks, formulated beverages and flavoured soy beverages up to 200 mg/kg.

In plain soy beverages, steviol glycosides can be used up to 100 mg/kg.

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