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Brominated Vegetable Oils in Foods


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Presentation from Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety, Trade Consultation Meeting, 29 May 2014

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Brominated Vegetable Oils in Foods

  1. 1. 1 Brominated Vegetable Oils (BVO) in Foods Trade Consultation Forum 29.5.2014
  2. 2. Background In early May 2014, media reported two global beverage manufacturing companies’ announcement on their plan to stop using BVO in all their drinks in response to consumers’ concern. 2
  3. 3. 3 Application of BVO A bromine addition product of vegetable oils Used as cloud producing agent, emulsifier and stabiliser in fruit-flavoured beverages (INS 443), including Keep flavour oils in suspension Give a cloudy appearance
  4. 4. 4 Toxicity of BVO The safety of BVO has been evaluated by JECFA in 1970 Observations from short-term studies High doses of BVO could cause degenerative cardiac lesions in experimental animals Accumulation of lipid and lipid-bound bromine was shown in adipose tissue and in intracellular fat of various other tissues in human and experimental animals
  5. 5. Toxicity of BVO JECFA concluded that BVO should not be used as food additives in the absence of evidence indicating its safety JECFA has not re-evaluated BVO since then 5
  6. 6. 6 Health-based Guidance Value The absence of a “no-effect level” based on long-term studies precluded the establishment of an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for BVO
  7. 7. 7 Regulation of BVO in Foods Not on the list of food additive Can be used as food additive Codex USA • On an interim basis • ≤15 ppm in finished fruit- flavoured beverages Mainland China European Union Australia & NZ Canada • ≤15 ppm in beverages containing citrus or spruce oils as consumed Japan Singapore
  8. 8. 8 Regulation of BVO in Foods in HK All foods for sale must be fit for human consumption FEHD has adopted JECFA’s view that BVO should not be permitted to be used in foods Safety evaluation conducted by JECFA Alternatives are available in the market which can achieve the technical functions of BVO in beverages
  9. 9. Regulation of BVO in Foods in HK Latest situation Continue to conduct surveillance of BVO in foods in the local market Other substances sharing similar characteristics, e.g. Potassium bromate (INS 924a) Codex has not included provision for its use as flour treatment agent Not included in the list of permitted food additives in flour in Mainland China, Australia and New Zealand, EU and Canada 9
  10. 10. Other Food Additives Not Permitted for Food Use in HK Examples Preservatives (regulated under Cap.132BD) e.g. boric acid, salicylic acid, formaldehyde Colouring matter (regulated under Cap.132H) e.g. red 2G 10
  11. 11. Thank you 11
  12. 12. AFRIS. AsianFoodRegulationInformationService. We have the largest database of Asian food regulations in the world and it’s FREE to use. We publish a range of communication services, list a very large number of food events and online educational webinars and continue to grow our Digital Library. We look forward to hearing from you soon!