Characterising Ingredients are
- ingredients or categories of ingredients which are mentioned in the name of a food or are implied as being present in a food by pictures or graphics on a food label; and
- when mentioned in the name of a food or graphically represented on a food label are used to influence the choice of a consumer by describing or establishing a special characteristic of the food or by distinguishing a food from similar foods.
Examples of products with characterising ingredients include chocolate chip ice-cream, mushroom pie.
This definition is based on The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Standard 1.2.10
The Vulnerability Assessment Helper asks users to note which ingredients are characterising ingredients not because a characterising ingredient is inherently more vulnerable to economically motivated adulteration or substitution but because problems with a characterising ingredient can greatly increase the vulnerability of the product group as a whole, as well as risking non-compliance with food standards and regulations. Within the raw materials table the answer you give at ‘characterising ingredient’ does not contribute to the vulnerability calculation for that ingredient but is used when considering the overall vulnerability of the product or product group.