Does this mean the end of glitter cupcakes in the U.K. is near? If you're a U.K. bakery or bakery and want to share your opinion (and/or glittery cupcakes!), email us at cupcakestakethecake at gmail.com. From ABC News:
After warnings were published by the Food Standards Association in the U.K., a survey published by the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service revealed that the edible cupcake glitter found in baking supply stores was made of plastic and brass.
"The West Yorkshire Public Analyst has found that many glitters are made of inedible polyester plastic of the type used to make drink bottles. Under the microscope the plastic is revealed as being in tiny hexagons with jagged edges. In another case the cake glitter was actually finely powdered brass," the survey stated.
"Anyone manufacturing cup cakes to sell should make detailed checks on what they are buying as ingredients. Anyone buying cakes with glitter decorations should ask the baker what the glitter is actually made of before eating them. Do not assume that plastic glitter would just pass through the digestive system without causing harm, because no-one actually knows," said Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, in a statement.
This past April, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the U.K. published guidelines on the use of glitters and dusts in food, stating "'non-toxic' glitters and dusts are not made from edible materials and must not be eaten."
The FSA says that "Glitter manufacturers have to provide suppliers with a 'declaration of compliance' to show the product(s) meet the requirements of legislation for food contact materials and articles."
In the U.S., the typical ingredients in decorative glitter, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, carmine and mica, are considered safe by the FDA because they are used in such small amounts.