Update to the List of Permitted Yeast Foods to Enable the Use of Ammonium Sulphate as a Yeast Nutrient in the Manufacture of Ale, Beer, Malt Liquor, Porter and Stout

Notice of Modification - Lists of Permitted Food Additives
Document Reference Number: NOM/ADM-0008

April 17, 2013

Summary

Food additives are regulated in Canada under the Food and Drug Regulations and Marketing Authorizations (MAs) issued by the Minister of Health.  Approved food additives and their permitted conditions of use are set out in the Lists of Permitted Food Additives that are incorporated by reference in the MAs.  A petitioner can request that Health Canada approve a new additive or a new condition of use for an already approved food additive by filing a food additive submission with the Department's Food Directorate.  Health Canada uses this premarket approval process to determine whether the scientific data support the safety of food additives when used under specified conditions in foods sold in Canada.

Health Canada received a food additive submission seeking approval for the use of ammonium sulphate as a yeast food at a maximum level of use consistent with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), in the manufacture of ale, beer, malt liquor, porter and stout.

Ammonium sulphate is already permitted for use in Canada as a yeast food in cider, wine, and honey wine, and in bread and unstandardized bakery products.

The results of Health Canada's evaluation of available scientific data support the safety of ammonium sulphate when used as described.  Therefore, Health Canada has modified the List of Permitted Yeast Foods to extend the use of ammonium sulphate to ale, beer, malt liquor, porter and stout, by adding the following entry to the list.

Modification to the List of Permitted Yeast Foods
Item No. Column 1
Additive
Column 2
Permitted in or upon
Column 3
Maximum Level of Use and Other Conditions
A.4 Ammonium Sulphate (4) Ale; Beer; Malt liquor; Porter; Stout (4) Good Manufacturing Practice

Rationale

Health Canada's Food Directorate has completed a pre-market safety assessment of ammonium sulphate.  The assessment considered microbiological and toxicological aspects of ammonium sulphate when used as described in the table above.

Ammonium sulphate is already permitted for use as a yeast food in the manufacture of the alcoholic beverages cider, wine and honey wine, as well as in bread and unstandardized bakery products.

Based on the information provided in the food additive submission, the use of ammonium sulphate as a yeast food is not expected to appreciably increase concentrations of ammonium or sulphate in the finished malt beverages.  No toxicological concern from the use of ammonium sulphate was identified.  In addition, the use of ammonium sulphate as a yeast food is not expected to impact the microbiological safety of finished malt beverages.

Based on the results of the safety assessment, Health Canada's Food Directorate considers that the data support the safety of ammonium sulphate when used under the conditions of use set out in the table above.  The Department has therefore enabled the use of ammonium sulphate as described in the table.

Other Relevant Information

  • Ammonium sulphate used as a yeast food must meet the specifications set out in the most recent edition of the Food Chemicals Codex, a compendium of standards for the purity and identity of food ingredients, including food additives, which is published by United States Pharmacopeial Convention.
  • There are standards of composition for "Beer" and "Ale, Stout, Porter or Malt Liquor," set out in Division 2 of the Food and Drug Regulations (Part B).  Given that these products are standardized foods in Canada, Health Canada consulted with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and with the appropriate industry association about the use of ammonium sulphate as a yeast food.  No objections were received.

Implementation and Enforcement

The above modification came into force the day on April 17, 2013, the day it was published in the List of Permitted Yeast Foods.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act and its associated regulations with respect to foods.

Contact Information

Health Canada's Food Directorate is committed to reviewing any new scientific information on the safety in use of any food additive, including ammonium sulphate. Anyone wishing to submit new scientific information on the use of this additive or to submit any inquiries may do so in writing, by regular mail or electronically. If you wish to contact the Food Directorate electronically, please use the words "ammonium sulphate" in the subject line of your e-mail.

Bureau of Chemical Safety
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture, PL: 2202C
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L2
E-mail: bcs-bipc@hc-sc.gc.ca

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