Betel nuts

The Betel Nut is prohibited under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.4.4 and Schedule 23.

The Betel nut is also known as areca nut which is a fruit from a palm. It's common name is varied but includes:

  • supai
  • pan parag
  • marg
  • maag
  • pugua (Guam)
  • suparim (Hindi and Bengali)
  • puwak (Sri Lanka)
  • gua (Sylheti)
  • mak (Thailand)
  • pinang (Sarawak) and
  • daka (Papua New Guinea).

It is sometimes used in illegal tobacco products, called Gutka or as a mouth refreshener - Mukhwaas.

The Betel nut is considered to be a drug. As a result of it's properties it is a carcinogen and therefore not for human consumption and should not be offered for sale in food businesses, or used as an ingredient in any foods.

If sold, or used in food products, it can be considered a breach of the Food Act and can incur penalties of up to $40,000 in the case of an individual and $200,000 in the case of a corporation.

Page last updated: Thursday, 25 November 2021