Reminder: End of FSANZ transition period for electrolyte drinks

The 2 year transition period for changes to content and claims of electrolyte drinks ends on 12 August 2024. Stakeholders are encouraged to review the content and claims of their existing electrolyte drink products prior to 12 August to ensure the requirements specified in the variation are met. 

The amended final draft variation to electrolyte drinks was approved by FSANZ in August 2022. The intended aim of the variation was to provide regulatory clarity, support product innovation for the category within the Australia and New Zealand market, support informed consumer choices, and reflect current public health policy to reduce the amount of sugar contained in sugar sweetened beverages.  

The changes were undertaken via P1030 – Composition and labelling of electrolyte drinks in 2014 and 2021, which sought to enhance the regulation of the composition and labelling of electrolyte drinks and electrolyte drink bases. 

Standard 2.6.2 will continue to regulate electrolyte drinks. Transferring the provisions that regulate electrolyte drinks from Standard 2.6.2 to Standard 2.9.4 of the Code will, if required, be further considered in Proposal P1010 – Review of Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods. The 1st call for submissions under P1010 is yet to be confirmed, but is expected to occur later this year.   

The variation:  

  • Amends the definition of ‘electrolyte drink’ to align more closely with compositional requirements and ensure product differentiation. 
  • Prescribes the name ‘electrolyte drink’ to enable improved identification of electrolyte drinks among similar products not regulated as electrolyte drinks. 
  • Reduces the minimum requirement for carbohydrate in electrolyte drinks from 50 g/L to 20 g/L. This is to facilitate product innovation and allow manufacturers to develop healthier electrolyte drink options.  
  • Limits the maximum fructose permitted in electrolyte drinks to 50% of the total amount of carbohydrate to reflect the scientific evidence regarding both carbohydrate utilisation and the adverse effects of a high-fructose intake during physical activity. 
  • Prohibits most health claims on electrolyte drinks, including self-substantiated health claims, other than three preapproved health claims on electrolyte drinks with an average osmolality of 200-340 mOsm/kg, with specific requirements that the claims refer to effects occurring under conditions of strenuous physical activity for a minimum time period of 60 minutes to reflect these products’ intended purpose. 
  • Limits nutrition content claims on electrolyte drinks to their compositional constituents: carbohydrate; sugar or sugars; energy; and/or electrolytes (calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium and chloride) to reflect these products’ intended purpose and reduce the potential for consumers to be misled.  
  • Prohibits % Recommended Dietary Intake (%RDI) declarations on electrolyte drinks to differentiate the addition of calcium and/or magnesium to function as electrolytes not minerals.  
  • Amends the units of osmolality to ‘per kilogram’ for compositional requirements, while retaining current labelling declaration unit requirements using ‘per litre’.  

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