Evaluating existing and potential ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) health claims for mushrooms (MU22004)
What was it all about?
In 2022, this project summarised the nutrition content and health claims that can be made about vitamin D in mushrooms that meet the Food Standards Code so that mushrooms can be credibly and legally promoted as a key source of vitamin D to consumers.
Mushrooms can be a valuable source of vitamin D and there is opportunity to communicate this direct to the customer via food labelling and advertisement.
To make a claim about vitamin D, a food must contain at least 10 per cent of the Recommended Daily Intake listed in Schedule 1 of the Food Standards Code. The Recommended Daily Intake for vitamin D is 10 ug cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). It is unclear if mushrooms are eligible for a vitamin D claim because they uniquely provide ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and contain 0 (zero) cholecalciferol.
The approach consisted of four steps:
- Information gathering, including scientific literature on the equivalence between vitamin D2 and D3.
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the NSW Food Authority consultation.
- Risk assessment.
- Claims development.
A report with legal assessment and scientific substantiation was developed, where it was found that vitamin D claims on mushrooms can be made in advertisement and labelling with a very low risk of breaching the Food Standards Code. A food regulations workshop and claims guidance document were developed for the industry to help utilise this information. Four recommendations to maximise vitamin D claims for mushrooms have also been provided.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund