The beverage company had requested that EFSA revise its previous 10 mg/L limit after sensory testing of its hot drinks found that most consumers did not find the level of sweetness adequate. As a result, the company asked for a revision of the upper limit in the category for tea beverages, instant coffee and instant cappuccino.
EFSA found that increasing the limit for hot drinks would have a minimal effect on average consumption levels, and even among high level consumers, most would remain under the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 4 mg per kg of bodyweight.
They found that only one exposure estimate – of toddlers in The Netherlands – exceeded this level, with a daily 4.3 mg/kg intake for those who consumed the most stevia-sweetened products.
“According to this requested extension of use, the impact on dietary intake appears to be negligible in comparison with the revised estimate of 2014,” it said in its opinion. “…The Panel concluded that dietary exposure to steviol glycosides (E 960) is similar to the exposure estimated in 2014 and therefore does not change the outcome of the safety assessment.”
The full opinion is available online here.