Australian Should Use Iodised Salt

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Australian bakers were reminded that they need to replace the salt that they currently use in bread making with iodised salt from 9 October 2009.

When launching the Australian User Guide for Mandatory Iodine Fortification today, Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve McCutcheon, said that the baking industry needs to be aware of the changes that become mandatory next October.

‘Iodine is essential for good health and mild iodine deficiency has re-emerged in Australia over the last 10 to15 years. FSANZ has developed a mandatory iodine fortification standard to help address this iodine deficiency in Australia and New Zealand,’ Mr McCutcheon said.

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‘The new standard requires the replacement of non-iodised salt in all bread, where salt is added, with iodised salt with a range of 25 to 65 milligram of iodine per kilogram of salt. It also applies to the small amount of bread imported into Australia, usually as frozen dough. However, bread described as organic is exempt.

‘This simple user guide explains exactly what bakers have to do to replace the current salt they use with iodised salt. This must be done in all products made from bread dough that contain yeast and salt. This includes loaves, buns, rolls, pita, naan, focaccia, pide, bagels, topped breads, buns and rolls (such as cheese and bacon rolls), baked English-style muffins, sweet buns, and fruit breads or rolls.

‘The user guide also details what labelling changes may be needed, for example, if the bread is packaged and not made on the premises where it is sold then iodised salt must be listed in the ingredients list. Mandatory iodine fortification comes into force just after the folic acid mandatory fortification of bread to make it easier for bakers and bread manufacturers to make any labelling changes in one go. A user guide for folic acid mandatory fortification of bread making flour is also available.

‘We greatly appreciate the time the baking industry and flour milling industry have taken to bring in these important health initiatives. We also want to make sure that smaller bakers are aware of the changes and have the information they need.

‘We are also working closely with health professionals on consumer information about the mandatory fortification of bread with iodine and folic acid which will be released closer to when the changes are being made,’ Mr McCutcheon concluded.

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