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Update: assessment and evaluation of jelly mini-cups.

The Government Chemist has received an increase in technical enquiries concerning evaluating jelly mini-cups and, given a recent recall notification by Food Standards Agency (FSA), considers this is a timely opportunity to provide a reminder of the issue.

Jelly mini-cup products must conform to regulations due to a choking risk for the consumer. The confectionery product is defined according to the European Commission (EC) Regulation No 1333/2008 as, “jelly confectionery of a firm consistence, contained in semi rigid mini-cups or mini-capsules, intended to be ingested in a single bite by exerting pressure on the mini-cups or mini-capsules to project the confectionery into the mouth”.

Although regulations are in place, interpretation can pose several issues and products can present a choking hazard due to the consistency, solubility, shape, size and manner of consumption. The use of gel forming agents in the products has been banned by food additive law to avoid the possibility of ‘plugging’ the airway. If a jelly mini-cup product conforms to the definition, it must not contain gel-forming additives.

The Government Chemist supports consumer safety by ensuring these products conform to regulations. We have extensive expertise in assessing and evaluating jelly mini-cups and have organised workshops in the laboratory to provide practical knowledge for assessing the conformity of these confectionery items. During these workshops we demonstrated practical aspects of the assessment of jelly mini-cups using methods developed to assess the consistency, solubility, size and accessibility.

For more information about this topic or the work of the Government Chemist please contact:

Government Chemist

Queens Road


TW11 0LY

Email [email protected]

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