March 9, 2015
TO: JPA Members
FROM: Patricia Faison
RE: JPA Regulatory Update
(1) Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods – Lead in Fruit Juices
(2) IFU Comments to the Codex Committee on Food Additives
Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods – Lead in Fruit Juices
JPA staff earlier notified members that the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) had proposed lowering the maximum level (ML) for lead in fruit juices and nectars (ready-to-drink) from 0.05 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) to 0.03 mg/kg. In addition, CCCF proposed retaining the current ML of 0.05 mg/kg for juices and nectars from berries and other small fruits since these fruits have a higher concentration of lead.
Members were earlier advised that during the 36th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, several delegations expressed concern regarding the approach taken to derive the revised MLs and noted the need to consider more geographically representative data. The Commission agreed to adopt the MLs at Step 5 with the understanding that countries commit to submit data within a year to allow CCCF to further consider the revision of the MLs in 2015 (i.e., during the 9th session of the CCCF).
The 9th session of the CCCF will be held March 16 – 20, 2015 in New Delhi, India. The CCCF Electronic Working Group (EWG) report (CX/CF 15/9/5) for consideration during the 9th session, available here, shows the results of lead data collected worldwide. In addition to lead levels in ready-to-drink fruit juices and nectars, the CCCF will also consider lead in canned fruits, canned vegetables, berries and other small fruits, legume vegetables, Brassica vegetables and fruiting vegetables.
Fruit Juices and Nectars (Excluding Juices from Berries and Small Fruits)
The raw dataset consisted of 4,064 results collected and/or analyzed between 1999 and 2014. As the Committee had agreed to lower the ML for certain fruit juices and nectars to 0.03 mg/kg in 2013, the EWG also conducted an analysis in which all data obtained with a method that had a limit of quantitation (LOQ) higher than the draft ML of 0.03 mg/kg was excluded. This LOQ-limited dataset consisted of 2,859 samples. A total of 1,205 samples were excluded as the LOQ was greater than 0.03 mg/kg or no LOQ was reported.
According to the EWG, using the LOQ-limited dataset, 97 percent of the fruit juice samples may meet the proposed ML of 0.03 mg/kg and as such, lowering the ML to this value would eliminate approximately 3 percent of the fruit juice and nectar samples in international trade. During the upcoming CCCF meeting, the EWG will recommend that the ML for lead in fruit juices and nectars (ready-to-drink and excluding juice from berries and other small fruits) be lowered to 0.03 mg/kg.
The EWG also evaluated the results based on specific juice varieties. The EWG noted the percentage of samples with lead levels less than or equal to 0.03 mg/kg was 95 percent or greater for most juice types except mixed fruit and vegetable juice (91%), pear nectar (94%), pomegranate juice (74%), gac juice (0%), noni juice (0%) and quince juice (0%). There was only one sample each for the gac, noni and quince juices. The EWG noted that the CCCF may want to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the limit of 0.03 mg/kg should be applied to all fruit juices and nectars.
The CCCF March 2015 meeting agenda can be obtained via the Codex website:
IFU Comments to the Codex Committee on Food Additives
During the 47th session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA), to be held March 23 – 27, 2015 in Xi’an, China, the Committee will consider a number of proposals related to food additives. In part, the CCFA will evaluate the use of emulsifiers, thickeners and stabilizers in foods, including fruit and vegetable juices and nectars. The report (CX/FA 15/47/8) of the CCFA Electronic Working Group (EWG) may be accessed here. As you may recall, CCFA is charged with reviewing and updating the Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA). The International Federation of Fruit Juice Producers (IFU) has submitted a letter to Codex, attached, detailing the group’s position on a number of food additives, as outlined below.
1) IFU is opposed to the use of Xanthan Gum to the list of food additives allowed in all fruit and vegetable juices and nectars;
2) IFU is opposed to the use of sodium carboxy methyl cellulose in fruit and vegetable juices;
3) IFU is opposed to the use of Gellan Gum, Trisodium citrate and Calcium lactate in fruit juices.
JPA will continue to monitor and provide updates, as information becomes available.
As always, please contact me with questions or comments.
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