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Topic # 112288 3-Dec-2012 23:11 Send private message

Would be interested in what people think of this, as it is really off topic. For tea we used some canned fruit salad , to add to a fruit salad. On the side of the can it states that there are 'No Artificial colours' & 'No artificial Flavours"with  big ticks on the side of the can. However we were going through the ingredients listed on the side of the  can, and it stated that  it contains Cherries (with colour 127). We thought that was fine, as it was likely to be a natural colour. However I decided to google it, to see what natural colour it was, as I am interested in eatting natural foods. Sometimes pink is made from beetroot etc. However we were shocked to discover that colour 127 doesn't appear to be a natural colour at all. It appears colour 127 is actually Erythrosine, which according to wikipedia is an organoiodine compound, specifically a derivative of fluorone. Doesn't sound particularly natural to me. Anyone know if it is natural or artifical.  If it is artificial,  I am just wondering if anyone knows if I should report this, and if so, who would you report this sort of thing to. I don't believe it should be advertised as 'No artifical colours' in bold lettering on the side of the can, if it does contain artificial colours.

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  Reply # 726538 3-Dec-2012 23:26 Send private message

Even though Erythrosine is thought to cause cancer in rats in large doses and is probably not that great for humans, it is not an artificial ingredient so it passes the test.



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  Reply # 726545 3-Dec-2012 23:37 Send private message

vexxxboy: Even though Erythrosine is thought to cause cancer in rats in large doses and is probably not that great for humans, it is not an artificial ingredient so it passes the test.


Just wondering why you think it is not an artificial ingredient. From wikipedia it looks like it is artificial, and on websites I have seen, it says it is 'synthetic' . Doesn't 'synthetic' mean  'artifical'? I would have thought that 'No artifical colours', would mean that it would only contain natural colours, and not artifical/synthetics?

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  Reply # 726550 3-Dec-2012 23:58 Send private message

I'd say artificial.  I believe it is a totally synthetic compound which doesn't occur in nature.

http://www.hawkinswatts.com.au/prod_colsart_Erythrosine.htm

It may be that the amount of it is negligible in the total product and so they get away with the "No Artificial ...." tag, where "No" is actually some small percentage.





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  Reply # 726551 3-Dec-2012 23:59 Send private message

Erythrosine is manufactured by iodination of fluorescein, the condensation product of resorcinol and
phthalic anhydride

edit: yes, erythrosine (E 127) is an artifical coloring.





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  Reply # 726575 4-Dec-2012 05:55 Send private message

FSANZ are responsible for the food code.

gzt

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  Reply # 726614 4-Dec-2012 09:18 Send private message


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  Reply # 726731 4-Dec-2012 12:34 Send private message

It is artificial, and I suspect the answer is because of the low amount and the fact it is in a minor compound ingredient.

The product (the canned fruit salad) is made up of compound ingredients e.g. the cherries, and as far as I know, in order to avoid making labelling requirements unrealistically onerous, it is not a requirement to include the component ingredients of an individual compound ingredient where the compound ingredient does not exceed 5% of the total product. I suspect that is also allowed to be carried over into the truth in labelling requirements.
I suspect the number of cherries is usually way less than 5% Smile, and if that is so then the manufacturer was probably providing the colour additive information regarding that ingredient as a service to their consumers rather than being legally required to do so.

Sauces are a common example of the same thing, often less than 5% of the total product so as far as I know the product ingredient list does not have to provide the ingredients in the sauce, just state the sauce e.g. tomato sauce.

Why not just ask the manufacturer ( the consumer contact information is on the can), they are usually very responsive as long as you appear to have a genuine interest rather than coming across as being some sort of demanding, potential trouble making activist as some are inclined to be?

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  Reply # 726964 4-Dec-2012 17:15 Send private message

John2010: It is artificial, and I suspect the answer is because of the low amount and the fact it is in a minor compound ingredient.


Nonetheless it is apparently listed in the ingredients on the can, so it is not a case of not having to list it.
I suspect it is some mismatch between the rules governing the listing of ingredients, and the rules over the use of the phrase "No Artificial Colours".
Maybe a more accurate wording would be "No Added Artificial Colours".




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  Reply # 726991 4-Dec-2012 17:53 Send private message

Jarno:
John2010: It is artificial, and I suspect the answer is because of the low amount and the fact it is in a minor compound ingredient.


Nonetheless it is apparently listed in the ingredients on the can, so it is not a case of not having to list it.
I suspect it is some mismatch between the rules governing the listing of ingredients, and the rules over the use of the phrase "No Artificial Colours".
Maybe a more accurate wording would be "No Added Artificial Colours".


Thanks everyone for their feedback.
Yes the number is listed, but who normally checks what a particualr number means. Also it is clearly advertised on the can in big bold letters that there is a "NO ARTIFICAL COLOURS" . So to me that means that there shouldn't be any artificial agents in the food at all. That is why I purchased it. Numbers can stand for both natural and synthetic ingredients, so just having a number wouldn't automatically mean that the colour was artifical. I think it is more a breach of the free trading act than anything, solely due to the way it is advertised on the side of the can, so if I have the time I may send them the label to see what they say. It is manufactured offshore and imported into NZ, so perhaps the labels are not made for the NZ market, although I believe they still have to meet NZ standards and can't be misleading.

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  Reply # 727096 4-Dec-2012 21:44 Send private message

Hi Team,

A couple of points:
It may be that the amount of it is negligible in the total product and so they get away with the "No Artificial ...." tag, where "No" is actually some small percentage.


John2010: It is artificial, and I suspect the answer is because of the low amount and the fact it is in a minor compound ingredient.


The claim on the pack cannot be misleading. If you say no artificial colours, that's exactly what it has to be. There is no concentration limit when you can make a claim that goes against this, if it's on the food label, the claim has to fit this.

The difference between artificial and synthetic colours: None. There is a proposal going round in various countries to use the word synthetic instead of artificial. There is something similar going on with flavours but it won't change much with what you see on pack. It's possible at the moment that your product comes from a country that uses this term instead of artificial.

If the product is produced overseas but sold in NZ, it still has to comply with the FSANZ code. HOWEVER, that's easier said than done. You just need to take a walk into any number of the ethnic supermarkets around town to find that it's not the case. Things that are sold in large volumes at supermarket chains you'd expect to comply to the code.

The guys you want to complain to are the commerce commission or maybe the Ministry of Primary Industries (not too sure about this second one). The FSANZ team just write the code, they don't enforce it.

Care to tell us what you're eating?




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  Reply # 727240 5-Dec-2012 09:15 Send private message

Jarno:
John2010: It is artificial, and I suspect the answer is because of the low amount and the fact it is in a minor compound ingredient.


Nonetheless it is apparently listed in the ingredients on the can, so it is not a case of not having to list it...


As I said, as far as I know there is no requirement to list the ingredients of a compound ingredient that makes up less than 5% of the total product; if that is so then it definitely is a case of not having to list it at. And if so, then in this case the manufacturer CHOSE to list it insofar as the NZ requirement is concerned.

Of course, if you know (and I mean KNOW with authority) that 5% threshold is not the case then that is just fine and I would be keen to know so, but please give us some sort of reference rather than just make claims which appear to be driven by a guess or by emotion without your disclosing that is all it is.

The original poster states the product is not that of a local manufacturer so I assume that it is not Heinz Wattie. On most, if not all, H-W's fruit cans they make a similar claim regarding no additives; it would be interesting to know from anyone that has a can fruit salad of theirs in their pantry what is stated on it regarding the cherries, the colouring of those, and claims as to additives?

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  Reply # 727250 5-Dec-2012 09:24 Send private message

nickd:
A couple of points:
It may be that the amount of it is negligible in the total product and so they get away with the "No Artificial ...." tag, where "No" is actually some small percentage.


John2010: It is artificial, and I suspect the answer is because of the low amount and the fact it is in a minor compound ingredient.


The claim on the pack cannot be misleading. If you say no artificial colours, that's exactly what it has to be. There is no concentration limit when you can make a claim that goes against this, if it's on the food label, the claim has to fit this.


Would you please provide the reference, or the specific food labelling experience that you are relying on, that the truth in labelling requirement of the regulations is in conflict with the requirement that the ingredients of minor compound ingredients (I believe those that comprise less than 5% of the total product, but I have not checked) do not have to be listed.

I would be interested to know the actual legal situation, but if you are just guessing or making assumptions rather than having the authority you paint into your post without any basis for that given, then please let us know.

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  Reply # 727549 5-Dec-2012 17:54 Send private message

Hi John,

I'm happy to answer your question but I was wondering if you could simplify the wording, it's a bit too complicated for me. What I think you are asking me is where does it say you have to declare a food additive if the ingredient is in the product at less than 5%. If this is what you're asking me, Standard 1.2.4 is what you're looking for, skip down to one of the clauses and it has a nice table that explains everything. I think it's somewhere around #6.

As for your other question, I'm a Food Technologist. I develop food products for a job. It doesn't make me right compared to everyone else here, it just gives you a bit of background. I am by no means an expert in the legislation and people do make mistakes so feel free to correct me. :-)

Hope this helps.

Nick



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  Reply # 727562 5-Dec-2012 18:17 Send private message

John2010: 

The original poster states the product is not that of a local manufacturer so I assume that it is not Heinz Wattie. On most, if not all, H-W's fruit cans they make a similar claim regarding no additives; it would be interesting to know from anyone that has a can fruit salad of theirs in their pantry what is stated on it regarding the cherries, the colouring of those, and claims as to additives?


No it wasn't Watties. I do have a can of Watties too, and it doesn't make any claims about colours in the advertising on the label. The colouring is 120 on the cherries, which according to wikipedia is actually a natural colour produced from insect. It does say no artificial additives and all natural ingredients. I don't have any issues with that advertising.

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  Reply # 728003 6-Dec-2012 12:50 Send private message

nickd: Hi John,

I'm happy to answer your question but I was wondering if you could simplify the wording, it's a bit too complicated for me. What I think you are asking me is where does it say you have to declare a food additive if the ingredient is in the product at less than 5%. If this is what you're asking me, Standard 1.2.4 is what you're looking for, skip down to one of the clauses and it has a nice table that explains everything. I think it's somewhere around #6.

As for your other question, I'm a Food Technologist. I develop food products for a job. It doesn't make me right compared to everyone else here, it just gives you a bit of background. I am by no means an expert in the legislation and people do make mistakes so feel free to correct me. :-)

Hope this helps.

Nick


Hi Nic

I have refreshed my recollection of the requirement by looking up 1.2.4, and helped getting there by your reference to it, thanks.

My use of "compound ingredient" is the same as that given in the Interpretation of 1.2.4.

The table to Clause 6 in 1.2.4 (the clause you refer to) states that the ingredients of a compound ingredient comprising less than 5% of the food do not have to be listed unless they are one of the ingredients listed in the Table to Clause 4 of 1.2.3 or it performs a technological function in the final food (my emphasis on "final food" for clarity that this is not referring to the compound ingredient, but to the final product). The ingredients in the 1.2.3 Table are just the potential allergens (milk, peanuts, etc) and my interpretation is that colour 127 does not perform a technological function in the final food (it does perform one in the compound ingredient though)..

So as I read 1.2.4 and 1.2.3, and as it would seem to me that colour 127 does not perform a technological function in the final food (the fruit salad) it need not be listed (but the manufacturer has chosen to) unless the cherries comprise more than 5% of the final product. This would seem to me to also fit in with good sense taking into account dilution of the compound ingredient's own ingredients.

Whether this also gives respite to it being caught by the truth in labelling requirements for food I have not hunted out. I would not be surprised if it did, especially as dilution by the rest of the final product means the actual weight of 127 is probably around trace levels.

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