On 9 August 2017, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved an application to add several new processing aids to the list of aids permitted to be used in winemaking.
It is important to recognise, however, that although four items have been added, only three will be available to Australian producers.
The four materials to be added to schedule S18 of the Food Standards Code (the ‘Code’) are:
- Ammonium bisulphite
- Polyvinylimidazole-polyvinylpyrrolidone co-polymers (PVI/PVP), and
- Silver chloride.
Critically, however, silver chloride, has not and will not be added to Standard 4.5.1, which applies specifically to Australian wine production. So, while all four aids will be available to foreign wine producers selling their product in Australia, only the first three aids will be available to Australian winemakers.
This is not an error or an oversight. After serious consideration, the Australian wine sector did not request permission for the use of silver chloride in Australian wine production.
Wine Australia is aware of reports that certain suppliers are offering samples of silver chloride to Australian wine producers. However, any suggestion that it will soon be legal to use silver chloride in Australian wine is based on a misunderstanding of the impending changes to the Code.
It is likely that the changes will come into force by the end of 2017. So, to be clear, during the 2018 harvest period, Australian winemakers will be able to use three processing aids not previously available. Silver chloride is not one of them.
If you would like further information about permitted processing aids, please contact Wine Australia on 08 8228 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.