On 3 July 2015, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) considered a request to classify nut- and seed-based beverages as Category 1D ‘dairy beverages’ for the purpose of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system.

A majority of Forum members agreed that under the HSR system, nut- and seed-based beverages may be classified as Category 1D products, if they meet the calcium requirements for that category.

The Guide for Industry to the Health Star Rating Calculator has been updated to reflect that nut- and seed-based beverages may be classified as Category 1D products in the HSR system.

Stakeholders should note, however, that the Forum also agreed to seek further consideration by the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC), with advice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand on how dairy alternative beverages should be categorised within the HSR system, and how they should be treated under the relevant food standard. The Forum is also seeking further advice about reconciling recommendations received from the National Health and Medical Research Council. A FRSC Working Group has been formed to progress this work and advice will be provided to the Forum in due course.

The communique of the Forum meeting is available on the Department of Health website.