Australian proposals target acrylamide and GM

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food standards australia new zealand Meat Fsanz

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (Fsanz) is considering five
new ingredients and additives for use by the food industry,
the regulator announced today.

The applications will be considered by the shared regulator and include an ingredient to reduce acylamide and a genetically modified soybean. If approved, the ingredients and additives could provide processors with cheaper or more effective options to those in current use. In one application, Novozymes is asking for permission to use asperaginase. The enzyme can be used during processing to convert asparagine to aspartic acid, therefore reducing acrylamide formation in baked goods such as biscuits and french fries, the company claims. In another, Monsanto Australia wants approval of a herbicide-tolerant soybean, which will allow farmers ot controls weeds more effectively, the company claims. Fsanz has said that the particular GM soybean under consideratin is as safe to consumers as the conventionally grown soybean and recommends its approval, pending comments submitted by interested parties. Meanwhile, Danisco is seeking approval to use nisin as a meat preservative up to a maximum level of 12.5mg per kilogram. Danisco claims that although various preservatives are currently permitted for use in processed meat products -- such as nitrites, nitrates and sorbic acid -- they are not completely effective and spoilage is not uncommon. Lion Nathan and GE Health Care Bioscience are also seeking permission for a new agarose- based ion-exchange resin to be used to stabilise beer. The resin, which is already approved and used to treat beer in the US, Germany and Russia, absorbs and reduces the concentration of undesirable haze and particulate forming proteins and polyphenols in treated beer, according to the companies. Fsanz said it intends to approve the application pending public feedback. In another application the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is asking that the maximum residue limit (MRL) for the antibiotic oxytetracycline is amended, following a review of the estimated dietary exposure assessments. A more general MRL of 0.2 mg/kg in fish muscle will be considered. FollowiThese concluded that the residues associated with the proposed MRL do not present any public health and safety concerns, the regulator claims. The deadline for comments on all the applications is 19 September 2007.

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