Call for comment on soy leghemoglobin permission

Source: Australia and New Zealand Food Standards

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an application by Impossible Foods Inc. to permit soy leghemoglobin in meat analogue products that is produced using a genetically modified strain of yeast.

FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said soy leghemoglobin is a protein naturally present in the roots of soybean plants that is not currently consumed in the diets of Australians and New Zealanders.

“The applicant uses an original method of production where the genetically modified yeast is fermented to express soy leghemoglobin.

“Impossible Foods is proposing to use soy leghemoglobin in its plant-based meat analogue products including meatballs, sausage, or as fillings in buns and dumplings.

“The purpose of this haem-containing ingredient is to impart ‘meat-like characteristics’ by replicating the flavour, smell of meat and as a source of iron.

“These products are currently sold overseas in the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.

“FSANZ has undertaken a risk and technical assessment which found no public health and safety concerns associated with its intended use.

“Interested parties are invited to have their say on the application by 6pm Canberra Time 14 February 2020,” Mr Booth said.

This is the first call for submissions on the application. FSANZ will consider feedback and a second round of public consultation will be undertaken in 2020.

All FSANZ decisions on applications are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.