SAFEGUARDS | Food NO. 057/17

SafeGuardS Female shopper searching for beverages

On March 1, 2017, Health Canada proposed two changes that will impact the list of contaminants and other adulterating substances in foods. They proposed changing the maximum lead level in fruit juice, fruit nectar and water in sealed containers [1]. Additionally they proposed adding a separate maximum level of arsenic in apple juice and changing the level permitted in water in sealed containers [2]. These proposals can be commented on until May 14, 2017.

Changes in Maximum Lead Levels

Based on scientific assessment, Health Canada is proposing to reduce the lead levels in fruit juice and fruit nectar from 0.2 mg/kg (ppm) to 0.05 mg/kg (ppm) and in water in sealed containers from 0.2 mg/kg (ppm) to 0.01 mg/kg (ppm).

Additionally, the water in sealed containers will now include mineral and spring water, where previously these types of water had been excluded from this requirement [3].

The fruit juice and nectar requirement would apply to these items when used as an ingredient and as a concentrate when reconstituted to its ready-to-serve form.

Changes in Maximum Arsenic Levels

Health Canada is proposing to remove apple juice from the current fruit juice standard and establishing a separate total arsenic standard of 0.015 mg/kg (ppm) for apple juice. This would apply for apple juice used as an ingredient and as a concentrate when reconstituted to its ready-to-serve form. The proposal would lower the maximum limit for total arsenic in water in sealed containers from 0.1 mg/kg (ppm) to 0.01 mg/kg (ppm) and this requirement would also include spring and mineral water.

Testing for Total lead and Arsenic in beverages and water

SGS uses inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to test for total lead and arsenic in beverages and water, a service that can be performed in many of our global laboratory locations. This is the perfect method to achieve the measurement of low levels of metals in foods and beverages.

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions, including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. We continually invest in our world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality. For further information please visit our website

For enquiries, please contact:

James Cook
Food Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager
t: +01 973 461 1493

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

© SGS Group Management SA - 2017 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.