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Australia and New Zealand lupin labelling deadline approaches

Australia and New Zealand have followed Europe into mandatory allergen labelling for lupin, a legume related to peanuts and commonly used in gluten-free products.

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Food businesses in Australia and New Zealand will be required to label lupin as an allergen in their products from the end of this month.

The beans are a popular food worldwide, commonly preserved in a salty solution or found in gluten-free products, and belong to the same family as peanuts. Lupins are a known allergen and studies have shown that people with peanut allergies often find they have a reaction to them as well. In Europe, clearly labelling its presence on packaging is required by law under the Labelling Directive.

​Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) mandatory allergen labelling requirements for lupin will begin on May 26, 2018.

FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said: “In Australia, lupin has not typically been used in food, however, due to its high protein and fibre content we are seeing an increase in its use.

“In 2017, lupin was added to the list of allergens that must be declared on food labels. Food businesses were given 12 months to meet these requirements.

“Any foods that contain lupin must declare it on the label from May 26 2018 – even if it’s already on the shelf.

“Correct allergen labelling can mean the difference between life and death for people with food allergies so it is vital that food businesses get it right.

“Even if the food is not in a package (for example, food prepared at and sold from a takeaway shop), allergen information must be displayed in connection with the food or provided to the purchaser if requested.”

In the USA, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires special allergen labelling for the eight major food allergens in the US. These are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.

Though food manufacturers in America do not need to specially label their products as containing lupin or lupin derivatives, they must declare it in the list of ingredients on the food label.

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