Fruit will be allowed health claims, assures FSANZ

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Health claims Nutrition Fsanz

Food safety authorities in Australia and New Zealand have rubbished
media reports that new proposals would prevent fresh fruit and
vegetables from carrying health claims.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand, FSANZ, said it was not true that certain fruits would be excluded from health claims because they contained too much naturally occurring sugar.

FSANZ is currently seeking feedback on proposed health claims rules that would stop foods carrying claims if they contained more than 16g total sugars, 4g saturated fat or 325mg salt.

The body said that the upper limit for sugars would only be enforced in relation to fruit and vegetables where a "general level health claim is linked with a specific company brand of fruit"​.

The sugar limit would not apply for generic health claims on fruit, such as "oranges are a good source of vitamin C" or "bananas are a good source of fibre which assists digestive health"​, it said.

FSANZ is currently doing more research on how natural sugar levels fluctuate in different fruit throughout the year.

But, it stood by its decision to set an upper limit for total sugars and not just added sugar.

"Both total and added sugars contribute to energy intake, and are digested and absorbed by the body through the same mechanism,"​ it said, adding that a limit for added sugar alone would be harder to enforce.

"In some cases concentrated fruit juices are used to sweeten products and these juices would be considered 'natural' but still have the same kilojoules and lack of additional nutrients as cane sugar."

The consultation period for FSANZ's proposed health claims standard ends on 31 March, with a decision expected by mid-2006.

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