A number of reports have recently questioned the safety of Azodicarbonamide (ADA) amid some industry voluntary action to stop its use in a number of food products in the United Stated.
This short post summarizes the current environment related to the safety of Azodicarbonamide (ADA) and its conditions of use in foods available for sale in Canada.
In Canada, azodicarbonamide (ADA) is an approved food additive in bread, flour and whole wheat flour as a bleaching or improving agent at a maximum level of use of 45 parts per million (ppm) or microgram per gram of flour.
The permitted use of the food additive azodicarbonamide (ADA) is set out in Health Canada’s List of Permitted Food Additives, which determines the conditions and legal foundation for its use in food available for sale in Canada.
As with all food additives approved for use in Canada, Azodicarbonamide (ADA) has undergone a thorough safety assessment prior to its approval. Health Canada’s assessment determined that neither Azodicarbonamide (ADA), at the levels it is allowed for use under the Food and Drug Regulations, or Semicarbazide, one of Azodicarbonamide’s break down products would be considered to pose a health risk for Canadian consumers.
Based on the latest scientific information available to date, there is no requirement to change the conditions of approval of this additive in Canada.
Health Canada has clarified its position to its stakeholders through a letter shared by the Bureau of Chemical Safety of Health Canada’s Food Directorate
In this letter, Health Canada’s Food Directorate notes that the Department’s scientists “review all new scientific information on food additives, including any that might raise concerns about (their) safety”. Health Canada’s Food Directorate adds that it “works closely with other jurisdictions, including the United States of America, on a broad range of food safety issues” and that “Should new evidence become available indicating that the low levels of azodicarbonamide that may be found in certain permitted foods represent a possible health risk to Canadian consumers, Health Canada would take immediate and appropriate action to address that risk”.