AHPA Recommends Maximum Stevia, Sorbate Levels to Codex

March 23, 2011

Codex is in the process of establishing maximum levels for steviol glycosides and sorbates for its Codex General Standard for Food Additives.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) provided two recommendations regarding the U.S. position on maximum levels of food additives steviol glycosides and sorbates, to the 43rd session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA). The CCFA meeting was held in Xiamen, China, on March 14-18.

CCFA, part of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international body created to develop food standards, is currently in the process of establishing maximum levels for steviol glycosides and sorbates for its Codex General Standard for Food Additives.

AHPA’s recommendations were provided in a letter to FDA officials serving as U.S. representatives to the CCFA meeting. Those recommendations included:

·      Instead of a proposed maximum level of 1820 mg/kg for steviol glycosides in food supplements, using a maximum level of 10,000 mg/kg.

·      Supporting Codex’s proposed maximum level of 2000 mg/kg of sorbates in liquid food supplements. However, AHPA recommended establishing a maximum level of 1000 mg/kg of sorbates for non-liquid food supplements.

“A food supplement tablet containing steviol at the level suggested by AHPA would represent only a small portion of its commonly accepted daily intake level,” said AHPA president Michael McGuffin. “And because steviol only has a functional application as a sweetener in supplements that are tasted in the mouth, it is not likely to become broadly used in food supplements and will not be used in capsules or tablets that are swallowed without tasting.”

Codex has no legal authority in the United States, but its standards can be significant in countries with emerging economies and markets for dietary supplements, AHPA said. A Codex standard can also create a comparison reference with regulations of other countries-which could I turn be used to create or amend standards in the United States.