Caffeine in foods came under fire last year when Wrigley launched Alert Energy Caffeine Gum that contained 40 mg of caffeine per piece. The FDA raised concerns about how such a product may appeal to kids.
Soon after, the FDA said it would launch an investigation into the effects of caffeine on young people and Wrigley voluntarily paused production, sales and marketing of its product in May 2013.
Speaking to ConfectioneryNews about caffeine's future in foods, Adam Deremo, founder and managing partner of caffeinated confectionery firm Awake Chocolate, said it will likely be shaped by a non-regulatory framework and that the FDA may not publicly address the issue again.
“The issue is probably not going to be legislated on at this point – principally because there’s not a lot of scientific data to support regulation…There’s no definitive data on caffeine consumption.”
He said that limits on caffeine in certain confectionery products were unlikely.
FDA: Limits restrictions undetermined
The FDA has suggested that 400 mg a day - about four or five cups of coffee - is a safe maximum amount, but it is still conducting its review.
Marianna Naum, communications at the FDA, told us: “Whether limits will be set in certain products is yet to be determined.”
“The literature on caffeine is vast and new studies on caffeine safety and consumption are continually being published, so you can imagine that FDA’s scientists have their work cut out for them.“
Last year between 5-6 August, the FDA met with the industry at a public workshop and in January 2014 announced that it was still concerned about caffeine in a new range of foods and would continue to investigate the effect on kids.
Wrigley refuses to speculate