Food Law News - EU - 2011

FSA Letter, 5 July 2011

CONTAMINANTS - Discussion on reviewing the EU level for ochratoxin A (OTA) in wheat gluten

Discussions are taking place at Commission Working Group level with Member States, following a request from the European starch industry to raise the limit for OTA in wheat gluten. This is based upon information from the starch industry indicating that the current level of 3ppb for OTA in wheat gluten is unachievable due to factors involved in the wheat gluten production process.

Wheat gluten is a food product made from the gluten (protein) of wheat by washing wheat flour dough with water until the starch dissolves. It is broadly used in food processes e.g. bakery products, and as a meat substitute for vegetarians.

The starch industry proposes a limit of 10μg/kg for OTA in wheat gluten only. The maximum levels for OTA in the final products where wheat gluten is used as an ingredient, as laid down in Regulation (EC) 1881/2006, will not be changed as a result of this potential amendment.

In view of the above the Food Standards Agency would like to invite comments on these proposals regarding potential impacts to inform the UK negotiation line.

This issue will be discussed at the next EU Agricultural Contaminants Expert Working Group meeting on 18 July 2011.

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