Former labelling and advertising requirements for saccharin

An amendment to the FDR came into force on May 4, 2016, introducing new use for saccharin as food additive in table-top sweeteners. As part of this amendment, a one year transitional period allows time for saccharin sweeteners that were sold prior these amendments to become compliant with the new labelling and advertising requirements. As of May 4, 2017, only the new rules of use and label of Saccharin will be allowed.

Saccharin and Cyclamate Sweetener Labelling Requirements

Saccharin is permitted in Canada in two ways: (1) as a sweetener in certain foods or (2) as a non-food product when specific conditions are met. Cyclamate is only permitted as a non-food product under specific conditions.

Saccharin as a food additive

On April 24, 2014, saccharin sweeteners (means a saccharin, salt thereof, any substance containing saccharin or salt thereof that is sold as a sweetener [E.01.001, FDR].) and its salts (calcium saccharin, potassium saccharin and sodium saccharin) were added to Health Canada's List of Permitted Sweeteners. This update enables the use of saccharin and/or its salts as sweeteners in: breath fresheners, unstandardized canned fruit, chewing gum, unstandardized frozen desserts, toppings/topping mixes, unstandardized alcoholic liqueurs, unstandardized carbonated non-alcoholic beverages, and unstandardized fruit spreads. Saccharin is not permitted as an ingredient in any other foods. Like all other food additives, when used as permitted, saccharin and/or its salts are required to be shown in the list of ingredients on pre-packaged foods. For more details, refer to Health Canada's Notice of Modification to the List of Permitted Sweeteners to Enable the Use of Saccharin, Calcium Saccharin, Potassium Saccharin and Sodium Saccharin as sweeteners in Various Unstandardized Foods.

Saccharin and Cyclamate as non-food products

When saccharin and/or its salts are used for any purposes other than as a food additive as outlined in the above section, such as a table-top sweetener, it is not classified as a food and must comply with the specific conditions prescribed in Part E of the FDR.

As per Part E of the FDR, saccharin and cyclamate sweeteners (definition) are not permitted to be used in foods as they are considered to be adulterants when added to foods [B.01.046, E.01.001, FDR]. These sweeteners are subject to Part E of the FDR, which thereby exempts them from Part B of the FDR [E.01.001(2)].

Saccharin and cyclamate sweeteners as non-food products are only allowed to be sold for direct consumer use when they meet the following conditions [E.01.002, FDR]:

  • Saccharin sweeteners may only be sold in pharmacies [E.01.002, FDR]
  • No representation other than the name price and quantity of the sweetener may be made when advertising cyclamate and saccharin to the general public [E.01.003, FDR].

The label of saccharin and cyclamate sweeteners that meet the specifications above must additionally carry:

  • A list of ingredients
  • The quantity of each of the following in the sweetener:
    1. cyclohexyl sulfamic acid,
    2. a salt of cyclohexyl sulfamic acid,
    3. a saccharin,
    4. a saccharin salt or
    5. carbohydrates where present;
  • The energy value expressed in Calories per teaspoon, drop, tablet or other measure used in the directions for use and per 100 grams or millilitres of the sweetenerFootnote 1
  • The following cautionary statements:
    1. in the case of cyclamate, a statement that the sweetener should only be used on the advice of a physician [E.01.004(1)]; and
    2. in the case of saccharin, a statement that continued use of saccharin may be injurious to health, and that the sweetener should not be used by pregnant women except on the advice of a physician [E.01.004(2)(b)].
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