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Konjac - food ingredient, diet supplement or food safety hazard

It was only a year ago that I first heard of a product recall for konjac. Since then I have noted five food recalls for konjac in jelly cups; one in Canada and the rest in Australia one of which I blogged about today. In addition, the use of E425 konjac in all jelly confectionery, including jelly mini-cups, and the sale of such confectionery, is not permitted under EU Regulation 1333/2008.  The EU risk assessment for konjac has been recently updated. I didn't know much about konjac twelve months ago except that it is a plant native to Asia and is widely used in Asia for jelly products, as been attributed to multiple deaths from choking worldwide.

Konjac is promoted as a weight loss aid and also sold for example as a diet supplement in the UK and as a rice substitute although on the latter with a warning:

"Always consume with plenty of water, there is a risk of choking for people with swallowing difficulties or when consumed with inadequate fluid".

A food ingredient I will look out for into the future, especially as there are academic papers being published now in terms of capsule formation and drug delivery

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