Food Standards Agency
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Update on steviol glycosides

The Food Standards Agency yesterday published an update on the sweeteners steviol glycosides. The European Union is currently examining whether the sweetners should be authorised for use in food. Earlier this month, member states voted in favour of a European Commission proposal to authorise steviol glycosides in a range of foods.

The proposal will now be scrutinised by the European Council and the European Parliament over the next three months and, if they are content, steviol glycosides will be permitted across the EU by the end of the year.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed the safety of steviol glycosides in 2010. However, there had been concerns about the possible exceedance of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). Subsequent discussions in Brussels have focused on the permitted uses of steviol glycosides to ensure that the ADI will not be exceeded.

Following these discussions, the UK is content that the levels proposed for the food categories, in particular the level for soft drinks, would not lead to exposure problems for UK consumers, and support the Commission’s proposal.

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