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Food Safety Focus (76th Issue, November 2012) – Food Incident Highlight

Concerns on Energy Drink

Last month, following media reports that a teenage girl in the United States died last year after drinking some 1.5 litres of an energy drink, the Centre for Food Safety sampled energy drink products of the same brand from the local market and found the caffeine contents were comparable to coffee beverages.

Energy drinks are non-alcoholic beverages that contain ingredients such as caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone and B vitamins. They are marketed to achieve an energy enhancing effect by stimulating the nervous system.

Energy drinks should not be consumed excessively as they contain caffeine and taurine etc., and should not be mixed with alcohol or drugs. The trade should ensure that energy drinks are fit for human consumption and comply with local legislation. Information should be provided on the packaging with the suggested intake, stating clearly the unsuitable groups of consumers such as children and pregnant women. Individuals sensitive to caffeine should refrain from energy drinks and take note of the ingredient list on beverage labels.