Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health Canada completes safety assessment of caffeine use in non-cola beverages

After an review of available science, Health Canada has authorized broader use of caffeine as a food additive from cola-type beverages to all carbonated soft drinks. (Similar levels of caffeine are currently allowed in non-cola soft drinks in the United States and Europe.) Health Canada has determined that adding synthetic caffeine to non-cola soft drinks in concentrations no higher than 150 parts per million (ppm) poses no health risk to consumers when they follow Health Canada’s recommendations for maximum daily caffeine intake. The authorized concentration for non-cola beverages is lower than the maximum of 200 ppm authorized under the Food and Drug Regulations for cola beverages. The current prohibition against adding synthetic caffeine to other foods remains in place.

Health Canada is urging manufacturers to voluntarily identify on product labels the total caffeine contained in a product from both natural ingredients such as guarana and from direct addition as a food additive. Health Canada is also asking industry to go beyond food additive labeling requirements (i.e., mandatory declaration of caffeine in the list of ingredients) and identify the presence of caffeine on the front of package labeling of newly caffeinated beverage formulations.

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