Thursday, 09 September 2021
MONITORING & SURVEILLANCE SERIES
The popularity of unpasteurised plant-based fermented beverages is increasing in Ireland and Europe. Many of the fermented plant-based beverages available in Ireland are produced by relatively small-scale artisanal food businesses utilising a variety of production methods and materials. The variability in the production processes, along with different storage and sales conditions, can have a significant impact on the quality and safety of the final product.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) carried out a survey of the Irish market for unpasteurised plant-based fermented beverages, including kombucha, kefir (water-based), and ginger soda. The objective of the survey was to determine the level of compliance of these products with respect to EU and Irish food labelling and claims legislation.
Of the 32 samples analysed, 4 (13%) were found to contain undeclared alcohol at concentrations that exceeded the labelling threshold of 1.2% alcohol by volume (ABV). In addition, 29 (91%) of these samples were found to be associated with unauthorised nutrition or health claims.