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Findings on food preservatives

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FOOD Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released the results of the 21st Australian Total Diet Survey (ATDS) of preservatives in food.

The ATDS annually monitors Australia’s food supply for pesticide residues, contaminants, nutrients, additives and other substances. It has regularly given the Australian food supply a clean bill of health. For the 21stATDS, FSANZ focused on a three classes of preservatives in food: sulphites, benzoates and sorbates.

Preservatives control the growth of yeast, bacteria and mould in food and provide important benefits to consumers, including the wider availability of safe foods with increased shelf lives.

The study confirmed that most Australians have a dietary intake of sulphites, benzoates and sorbates that is well below the internationally accepted reference health standard for these preservatives, and they present no public health and safety risk.

The relevant health standard is the Acceptable Daily Intake or ADI. The ADI represents the amount of the substance that can be consumed daily over an entire lifetime without any health effects.

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