What is in your food and especially our kid’s food really matters!
Food additives are one of those topics that gets talked about a lot amongst parents particularly in the age of online forums, chat rooms and Facebook discussion feeds. Some of the key concerns for parents with regard to food additives relate to behaviour change in children, allergies and additives that may cause cancer. Additives that cause concern fall into the following categories:
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Flavour enhancers
At School Mum we are not qualified dieticians, scientists or food experts (as much as we love to eat all kinds of delicious food) so it is problematic for us to give definitive recommendations or make comment about specific additives. Instead what we’ve done some research and provided some links below to some experts in the field.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand – http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/additiveoverview/Pages/default.aspx
ABC – The hard facts on food additives
Why are some additives banned in other countries but not in Australia?
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand says that any additives cited as banned in other countries but that are still permissible in Australia are permitted because they have usually undergone further testing and approval since that ban was put in place. Often the bans placed in other countries are outdated or based on old scientific studies. Since those studies, the additives may have been improved or refined or the testing has been proven to be incorrect. This is discussed further on the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand website. Check it out for yourself at: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/pages/coloursandfoodadditi5752.aspx
How additives are regulated
The following information from Choice.com.au describes the governing of food additives in Australia:
“The use of food additives in Australia is governed by the Food Standards Code and regulated by FSANZ. When applying to use a new additive, a manufacturer must provide evidence to FSANZ of its safety, as well as the technological reason for its use. FSANZ reviews the safety evidence before an additive is approved for use and reviews new research as it becomes available, but doesn’t undertake safety testing of its own.
On top of that, an exposure assessment estimates the likely amount that would be consumed if the food additive were permitted for use. This amount is compared to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) recommended by scientific experts, which is the amount you can consume every day without damaging your health. FSANZ then recommends a maximum level of the food additive permitted in particular foods, based on technological need and providing it’s within safe limits”.