The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule that amends its food additive regulations to allow hydrogen peroxide to be used as an “antimicrobial agent in the manufacture of modified whey by ultrafiltration methods.” Effective March 2, 2011, the rule responds to a petition filed by Fonterra (USA) Inc. requesting the change as an alternative to “electrodialysis methods” used in whey processing.

Hydrogen peroxide has been affirmed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for human consumption when electrodialysis methods are used for whey processing under certain conditions. After reviewing data on ultrafiltration methods, FDA has determined that hydrogen peroxide “will achieve its intended technical effect as an antimicrobial agent under the proposed conditions of use.” FDA requests objections to the rule or requests for a hearing by April 1. See Federal Register, March 2, 2011.