Iodine fortification

Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, bakers must use iodised salt in bread and bread products. Find out about this requirement and the exceptions.


Why iodised salt is necessary

Iodine helps prevent brain damage and mental impairment and is especially important for brain development in unborn babies. The wet New Zealand climate means iodine is not available in sufficient quantities in the plants and animals we eat. Fortifying bread with iodine has 2 benefits:

  • it helps increase the amount of iodine in New Zealanders' diet
  • it prevents iodine deficiency from becoming more serious in the future.

Products that require iodised salt

You must use iodised salt in almost all bread and bread products. The current Food Standard defines the bread and bread products that must contain iodised salt.

Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the use of iodised salt, including:

  • organic bread
  • salt on the surface of bread, for example rock salt
  • other ingredients containing salt that are added to bread
  • bread not intended for sale in New Zealand or Australia.

Meeting requirements for iodised salt

The requirements for iodised salt are set out in Standard 2.1.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Find out about the requirements:

Guidance

MPI has developed a user guide to help bakers, retailers, and local authority officers interpret and apply the requirements. It also contains information for bakers who want to add folic acid to bread.

FSANZ has developed the Mandatory Iodine Fortification User Guide, which can be found on its website.

MPI has prepared project reports that provide a resource for managing risks associated with iodine.

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