In a significant development, the Board of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) issued a crucial notification on December 07, 2023, titled “Food Standards Variation on Added Sugars for Claims”. This notification, executed under Section 92 of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act, 1991, brings forth noteworthy changes to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. This blog will delve into the key points outlined in this standard.

Variation in Standards

The notification introduces variations to the Schedule of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The variations are designed to address concerns related to added sugars in food products, reflecting a commitment to improving public health through transparent labeling.

Exemption from Section 1.1.1-9

Notably, Section 1.1.1-9 of Standard 1.1.1 is exempted from the variations made by this instrument. This emphasizes the specificity and targeted nature of the changes, ensuring that they directly address the issues surrounding added sugars and related claims.

Focus on Nutrition, Health, and Claims

Schedule 4 on nutrition, health, and related claims, particularly S4-3, takes center stage in this notification. It specifies the use of sugar(s) from any source(s) as prescribed in the regulation. This signals a comprehensive approach to addressing issues related to the broader impact of added sugars on public health and wellness.

Clarification on Compound Ingredients

The document underlines that the term “ingredient” refers to compound ingredients. This clarification aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of ingredient composition, in turn ensuring that food manufacturers accurately represent the components of their products.

Stringent Standards for Sugar Claims

The standards for unsweetened, low, reduced/lite, no added, and % free sugars are explicitly mentioned. This signals a clear stance on the part of FSANZ to set stringent criteria for products carrying these claims, providing consumers with more reliable information on the sugar content in their food choices.

Transition and Post-transition Periods

During the period of transition to the new notification, a food product may be sold if it complies with one of the following:

  • The Code, as in force without the variations made by this instrument.
  • The Code, as amended by the variations made by this instrument.

This phased implementation ensures that businesses have adequate time to adjust and conform to the new standards, thereby promoting a smoother transition for both manufacturers and consumers.

To sum up, the release of the “Food Standards Variation on Added Sugars for Claims” by the Board of FSANZ is a significant milestone in the continual drive toward improving Australia’s food labeling requirement and transparency. These Regulatory modifications, which specifically target added sugars and associated claims, demonstrate a dedication to encouraging healthier food choices and providing consumers with precise information. Regulatory experts at Freyr can aid food businesses in transitioning to these updated Australian food standards, with the anticipation that the general well-being of the population in Australia and New Zealand will thrive through a more informed and health-conscious approach to food consumption. Contact Freyr today!


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