Steve McCutcheon, chief executive of Fsanz, said that Malaysia-based stevia major PureCircle had sought to amend the definition of steviol glycosides in the Food Standards Code to include all minor glycoside compounds extracted from the stevia leaf.
These are claimed to provide improved flavour and taste compared to those currently permitted.
“Steviol glycosides are permitted food additives in the Codex Alimentarius general standard for food additives,” McCutcheon said, adding that many countries, including America and members of the European Union allowed their use.
“No evidence was found to suggest that the proposed changes pose any public health and safety concerns.”
All Fsanz decisions on applications are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation, who can decide to ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.
Fsanz has named December 19 as the closing date for submissions from stakeholders and the public.