Survey of added colours in foods available in Australia
Synthetic and natural colours are routinely added to food and beverages as a visual cue for quality, to induce the perception of flavour and to meet consumer expectations. In 2006, FSANZ commissioned an analytical survey to quantify actual levels of all permitted synthetic colours and two natural colours in foods and beverages in Australia. This was necessary to accurately estimate dietary exposure and assess the potential risk to human health for Australians. This survey was undertaken as part of the surveillance program in 2006.
The survey targeted a wide range of foods and beverages that contained added colours in accordance with Standard 1.3.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). The foods and beverages included were: confectionery, ice cream, cheese, yoghurt, margarine, flavoured milk, flavoured soy beverages, soft drink, cordial, fruit drink, alcoholic drinks, biscuits, cakes, pastries, savoury snacks, breakfast cereal, pre-prepared meals, processed meats, sauces, toppings, jams/conserves and jelly. A small number of products that claimed to contain ‘no added colours’ or ‘no artificial colour,’ was also sampled.