COT statement on adverse reactions to acid sweets

Since April 2003 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has received a number of reports of adverse reactions in children eating sour acid sweets designed to be kept in prolonged contact with the tongue.

Some reactions have been sufficiently severe for the children to attend hospital. At present there are no regulatory limits for acidity of confectionery products and no restriction on their sale in the UK.

The COT was asked to consider the available data on acid sweets and whether it was the composition, pH or acidity, the method of use, or a combination of these factors, that was likely to be responsible for the adverse reactions.