FSA Consultation, 11 January 2013
A copy of the consultation document is available on this site: Consultation pack: Consultation on changes to aluminium levels
The consultation will give stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the likely financial impact arising from the restrictions on the use of aluminium-containing additives. Responses are requested by: 5 April 2013
Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Manufacturers of E 541 Sodium Aluminium Phosphate (SALP), ingredients manufacturers and businesses using SALP in their products. The consultation may also be of interest to health professionals, consumer groups, local authorities and anyone with an interest in food additives legislation.
What is the subject of this consultation?
New EU legislation has been introduced which restricts the use of aluminium-containing food additives such as aluminium silicates (commonly used in as anti-caking agents), and aluminium lakes of colours. The legislation also restricts the use of SALP, as a raising agent, to one product only: sponge cakes produced from contrasting coloured segments, held together by jam or spreading jelly, encased in a flavoured sugar paste (i.e. Battenberg style cakes).
What is the purpose of this consultation?
To provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the attached Impact Assessment; this has been prepared to assess the costs associated with the changes outlined in the new EU legislation.
European Commission Regulation 380/2012 ('the new EU Regulation'), which came into force on 23rd May 2012, introduces restrictions on the use of aluminium-containing additives. The restrictions tighten the use of aluminium silicates (commonly used as anti-caking agents) and the use of aluminium lakes and restrict E541 SALP as a raising agent to one product only – namely sponge cakes produced from contrasting coloured segments, held together by jam or spreading jelly, encased in a flavoured sugar paste (i.e. Battenberg style cakes), at a level of 0.4 g/kg in the sponge parts only.
The aim of the legislation is to reduce levels of aluminium containing additives following the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) opinion in 2008. The current 1g aluminium/kg limit for SALP in scones and spongewares (sponge cake) will no longer be an option. No Member State, other than the UK, has food business operators who use SALP in their foods. An industry compromise proposal, to reduce levels of SALP in scones and spongewares from 1g/kg to 0.8 g/kg and 0.5 g/kg respectively, was rejected during discussions in Brussels, as this would lead to unacceptable intakes of aluminium for consumers.
The purpose of this consultation is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the attached Impact Assessment which has been prepared to assess the costs associated with the changes prescribed in the new EU legislation.
Separate consultations will be carried out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the Impact Assessment relating to those parts of the UK.
The restriction on the use of sodium aluminium phosphate (E 541) to be used in one product only – sponge cakes produced from contrasting coloured segments, held together by jam or spreading jelly, encased in a flavoured sugar paste (i.e. Battenberg style cakes), at a level of 0.4 g aluminium/kg in the sponge parts only.
While discussions with the Commission were ongoing, the FSA carried out an informal consultation with those stakeholders that are likely to be affected by the proposals discussed in here. Three comments were received from manufacturers, from the sectors most likely to be affected (including those in the SME sector).
Responses are requested by close of business on 5 April 2013. Please state, in your response, whether you are responding as a private individual or on behalf of an organisation/company (including details of any stakeholders your organisation represents).