Iodine-fortified salt at levels of 25-65mg per kilogram of salt are to be used and the rule applies to the small amount of bread imported into Australia although organic bread is exempt.
“Iodine is essential for good health and mild iodine deficiency has re-emerged in Australia over the last 10 to15 years,” said Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) chief executive officer, Steve McCutcheon.
“FSANZ has developed a mandatory iodine fortification standard to help address this iodine deficiency in Australia and New Zealand.”
The new regulation applied to all products “made from bread dough that contain yeast and salt” FSANZ said.
“This includes loaves, buns, rolls, pita, naan, focaccia, pide, bagels, topped breads, buns and rolls (such as cheese and bacon rolls), baked English-style muffins, sweet buns, and fruit breads or rolls.”
FSANZ noted that the changes followed soon after the mandatory introduction of folic acid fortification so any labelling changes could be made simultaneously.
“We greatly appreciate the time the baking industry and flour milling industry have taken to bring in these important health initiatives,” McCutcheon said.
“We also want to make sure that smaller bakers are aware of the changes and have the information they need. We are also working closely with health professionals on consumer information about the mandatory fortification of bread with iodine and folic acid which will be released closer to when the changes are being made.”
The Australian User Guide for Mandatory Iodine Fortification can be found here.