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Reishi - medicinal mushroom
Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum

Want to know what the 4 main medicinal mushrooms prohibited by FSANZ for use in a food product?

  1. Chaga
  2. Reishi
  3. Cordyceps
  4. Lion’s Mane

Over the last years there has been a steady increase in the number of small Australian and New Zealand food businesses adding medicinal mushrooms into food products such as powdered hot chocolates, coffee drinks, energy bars or selling as mushroom powders online and in health food stores.

Many of these products also make therapeutic health claims about brain health, cognitive function, beauty glow, vitality, energy booster and immune support.

Traditional Chinese medicine have used medicinal mushrooms for centuries, but they have never been approved as a food or food ingredient by Food Standards Code Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

When deciding on ingredients, small businesses need to keep in mind the general ingredient restrictions in Standard 1.1.1 – 10 (5) that expressly restricts the use of ingredients in food in Australia that are:

  • a novel food;
  • a substance being used as a nutritive substance; and
  • prohibited (or restricted) plant or fungus.

Within the Food Standards website there is a section that covers the latest update of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods (ACNF), Novel Food – Record of Views, which documents if ingredients, such as various herbs, plants and mushrooms, are permitted in food products.

In the Novel Food – Record of View document, FSANZ describes these 4 main medicinal mushrooms have:

  • No tradition of use as a food in Australia and New Zealand
  • Safety is not established as a food
  • Potential for pharmacological effects based on their use as a traditional medicine
  • Potential adverse effects have been reported in scientific literature.

In addition, it is difficult to understand their potency, and to determine if they are from powdered extracts or the extract strengths.

For more information read the latest FSANZ Novel food – Record of Views.

Product Development Best Practice with using Mushrooms & Fungi in Food Products

To begin the new product development process, check each of the following Food Standards and Schedules to make sure that each of your medicinal mushrooms are permitted in foods.

  1. Standard 1.4.4 – Prohibited and restricted plants and fungi
  2. Schedule 23 – Prohibited plants and fungi
  3. Schedule 24 – Restricted plants and fungi
  4. Standard 1.5.1 – Novel foods
  5. FSANZ Novel food – Record of Views.

If you would like to know if your ingredients meet the FSANZ’s requirements, I offer my Ingredient Review service.

It will give you peace of mind knowing that your ingredients are permitted in food, reduce the risk of competitor complaints or regulatory compliance action.

Fill out the Contact Form and lets get started.