The end of the TMA and what that means for supplemented food

This is interesting news for anybody who’s supplementing, or thinking about it, their food product with vitamins or minerals.

Health Canada has just announced new regulations for supplemented foods that will make adding supplements to food and drink products much easier.

Supplemented foods are defined as pre-packaged foods or drinks containing one or more added ingredients, such as vitamins, mineral nutrients, amino acids, caffeine or herbal extracts.

Examples include drinks with added minerals, caffeinated energy drinks, or snack bars with added vitamins. Our drinks at Auralis Botanical will fall under this category, as we plan to supplement our functional mushroom extracts with a vitamin mix.

Personally, I think the agency has done a great job balancing responsible use of supplements while not stifling innovation in the market.

Yes, you can overdose on vitamins.

While many vitamins and minerals are simply flushed from the body when consumed in excess, some have the ability to cause harm to vulnerable people with underlying health conditions, children, and the pregnant.

Under the new regulations, all supplemented foods will have a standardized Supplemented Food Facts table, which includes information on the amount of each supplemental ingredient added. This table is similar to the Nutrition Facts table that currently helps inform Canadians’ food choices.

Supplemented foods containing specific ingredients will also require labels to provide consumers with the cautions and directions for use related to the supplemented food to see if it is appropriate for them.

To reduce potential health risks, the new regulations also impose strict compositional limits and conditions of use and limits on the types of foods that can be supplemented. For example, a food like bread, which is already fortified for public health would not be considered an appropriate food category to be supplemented.

The regulations will also maintain the prohibition on the use of supplemented foods as ingredients or as constituents of ingredients to produce edible cannabis.

Prior to these regulations, manufacturers and distributors had to obtain a Temporary Marketing Authorization (TMA) from Health Canada to sell a supplemented food.

Supplemented foods that are already on the market with a TMA or for which a company has submitted an application for a TMA before July 21, 2022 that is subsequently approved by Health Canada will have until January 1, 2026, to comply with these new regulations. New supplemented foods will need to comply immediately.

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