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Protein Glutaminase (enzyme processing aid)

FSANZ is aware of concerns raised by the Food Intolerance Network about an application for a new enzyme processing aid, Protein Glutaminase.

Claims that the enzyme will be a hidden form of MSG (mono sodium glutamate) are not correct, nor does the enzyme contain or produce MSG. MSG is a single salt composed of the single amino acid, glutamic acid.

The technological purpose of Protein Glutaminase is to alter the structure of protein in foods, effectively changing from a “folded” to an “unfolded” structure.  Proteins remain intact during this reaction and no free amino acids (including glutamic acid) are produced, meaning no flavour enhancement of foods is possible.

Protein Glutaminase improves a protein’s solubility in water, which provides superior functionality in terms of foaming, emulsification, stabilisation and improved texture in the final food.

After a thorough safety assessment FSANZ has concluded there are no risks to public health from the proposed use of this enzyme. We are currently considering all comments made on the application during the consulting period which closed on 2 November.

 As a general rule, processing aids are exempt from the requirement to be declared in the statement of ingredients. Food additives (which perform a technological function in the final food) are required to be labelled. FSANZ’s assessment of the proposed use of this enzyme is that of a processing aid and not a food additive, which is consistent with the function of using enzymes in the manufacture of food.

Read the assessment report and submissions: A1136 – Protein Glutaminase as a Processing Aid (Enzyme)

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