Sue's Blog

7,000 signatures on Glutaminase petition presented to FSANZ

The Food Intolerance Network have today presented their petition with 7,000 signatures seeking to reject a new way of hiding MSG in food. The petition has with it a formal response on our reasons why Protein Glutaminase should not be approved as a Processing Aid.

The full 126 page comments from petition and 9 page submission can be downloaded.

In summary, our view is that this enzyme cannot legally be classified as a Processing Aid and hence hidden from the view of consumers on three separately argued grounds:

1.    declaring Protein Glutaminase as a Processing Aid is in breach of Object (c) of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991: the provision of adequate information relating to food to enable consumers to make informed choices.

2.    Protein Glutaminase is an Additive and not a Processing Aid as defined by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and therefore is required to be shown in the Statement of Ingredients.

3.    Protein Glutaminase  is a protease as currently listed in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and so is legally required to be shown in the Statement of Ingredients.

From the point of view of consumers, while we do not oppose the approval and use of the enzyme per se, we object strongly to it being classified as a Processing Aid. As consumers, we want to know what changes have been made in our food.  To hide the cause of the change as a ‘Processing Aid’ is deliberately misleading.

We seek to have Protein Glutaminase listed in Schedule 8 under 1101 Proteases (and wherever else required) so that it appears in the Statement of Ingredients on foods.

There are two things wrong about this enzyme:

•    It considerably increases the level of free glutamates in your food. This makes your food more flavour enhanced or, to put it another way, increases the MSG (monosodium glutamate) which many consumers seek to avoid. There is no mention of this fact in the FSANZ call for submissions.

•    It will never be shown on the ingredients label because it will be classified as a “processing aid”, part of an international food industry trend to hide the additives which many seek to avoid. This denies consumers their right to choose food without this flavour enhancer.

The petition will remain open until FSANZ announce their decision, probably just before Christmas so that it is lost to public response. You can still sign it


Thanks so much to everyone for their strong support!