Review of the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Council policy guideline on the addition of caffeine to foods

Page last updated: 21 November 2016

On 4 April 2003 the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) agreed to a policy guideline on the addition of caffeine to foods.

The Ministerial Council agreed, until further evidence became available, to maintain the status quo for caffeine regulation by:

  • Maintaining the current additive permissions for caffeine; and
  • Restricting the use of new products containing non-traditional caffeine rich ingredients (including guarana) to boost the caffeine content in other food, beyond the current provisions for caffeine.
Caffeinated kola drinks and formulated caffeinated beverages will be permitted in accordance with the current standards. Any transitional arrangements will be reviewed in light of this decision.

On 6 May 2011 the Ministerial Council agreed to a comprehensive review of the 2003 policy guideline, noting the increased number of energy drinks on the market containing caffeine and other exotic ingredients. Since 2003, the presence of caffeine in the food supply has changed substantially and the number of products containing caffeine has increased as has, in some cases, the level of caffeine in products. The review will take into consideration: current research about the health effects of caffeine; global developments in caffeinated products; and regulatory approaches being taken in comparable markets.

On 4 September 2013, FRSC released a Consultation Paper for public consultation on a Food Regulation Policy Options Paper for formulating policy guidelines on the regulation of caffeine in the Australian and New Zealand food supplies.

Submissions closed on 18 October 2013.

Thirty-two submissions were received from interested parties and two public stakeholder meetings were held.
On 23 September 2013, 24 participants attended in Sydney, Australia and on 25 September 2013, 12 participants attended in Auckland, New Zealand.

Policy Options Paper on the Addition of Caffeine in Foods (Word 111 KB)
Policy Options Paper on the Addition of Caffeine in Foods Printable Version (PDF 300 KB)

The discussion document is also available on the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries website.

Posted on 12 May 2014

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