Understanding contamination risk associated with protein fortified foods

Kerry O'Bryan*, Gregory Shaw, Bethanie Allanson, Larissa Trease, Gary John Slater, Gregory Roland Cox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional


Contamination of dietary supplements with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code prohibited substances has been known for nearly 20 years (Catlin et al 2000; Kamber et al 2001). National Government directives (i.e. Sport Integrity Australia), sport initiated supplement policies and commercial entities assessing supplements for contamination with prohibited substances assist athletes to mitigate contamination risk. Recently, foods fortified with isolated protein ingredients, hereafter referred to as protein fortified foods (PFF’s) are now widely available. Consumer demand of PFF’s are driven by adept marketing, leveraging
research on the functional and multi-system benefits of dietary protein. Food manufacturers are developing PFF’s with label claims using ‘protein’ as a prime focus on foods inherently low in protein.
PFF’s contain added isolated protein ingredients similar to those used in sports and protein supplements. Typically, PFF’s are regulated under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC). While the Code provides specific legislation on the manufacturing of ‘Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods – Standard 2.9.4’ which covers foods specifically formulated to assist sports people in achieving specific nutritional or performance goals, the provision around PFF’s is not defined. Therefore, the contamination risk associated with PFF’s regulated under FSANZ and the subsequent management of this risk is unclear.
The objective of this report is to explore, evaluate and understand the risk of PFF’s manufactured within Australia and readily available to athletes. A review of the current legislation regarding PFF’s and subsequent management by government, industry and sports was undertaken. To broaden the scope of the review and ensure it aligns with current practices within sport, athletes, sports dietitians and food manufacturers were engaged to understand current practices in managing contamination risk associated with PFF’s. Bench audits, interviews, questionnaires and email responses were used to understand the current practices of organisations and industry in controlling contamination of food products from foreign sources. The primary investigation focus considered PFF’s manufactured under the FSANZ code and did not explore the potential risk of
contamination with added botanical ingredients or Internationally manufactured PFF’s.
Original languageEnglish
Publisher Australian Institute of Sport
Commissioning bodyAustralian Institute of Sport
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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