Food safety authorities in Australasia have approved dibromo-dimethylhydantoin (DBDMH) as a processing aid to treat all foods.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) said DBDMH had been given the go-ahead to be used as an antimicrobial washing agent across the board – although its main uses were likely to treat meat and poultry, as well as water in ice-making systems for use in poultry processing.
The approval came following an application by Elanco Animal Health to amend Standard 1.3.3 – Processing Aids, of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
FSANZ confirmed it had carried out the appropriate assessment and found the substance was fit for purpose – or “technically justified” - and posed no public health risks.
Joint entry request rejected
When added to water, DBDMH hydrolyses to form hypobromous acid - an active compound that possesses antimicrobial activity. Hypobromous acid kills bacteria present on the surface of food such as E.coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella, said the food safety watchdog.
It noted that the regulations currently allow for use of a similar antimicrobial halohydantoin agent called bromo-chloro-dimethylhydantoin (BCDMH) for the treatment of all foods.
Elanco asked that the entry for BCDMH be replaced with a joint entry for DBDMH and BCDMH in the part of the Code relating to permitted bleaching, washing and peeling agents.
However, FSANZ has proposed including DBDMH as a separate entry to clearly distinguish the different residues from each chemical and their levels.
This permission would include maximum permitted levels (MPLs) of 2.0 mg/kg for dimethylhydantoin (DMH) and 2.0 mg/kg for inorganic bromide in the treated food. The MPL for inorganic bromide from the new chemical differs to the maximum amount of 1.0 mg/kg of inorganic bromide, said the body.
Click HERE to read a full copy of the approval report