Altering The Recipe Of Anzac Biscuits Carries A $50,000 Fine

Changing the recipe of the traditional Anzac Day biscuit could see local bakeries slapped with a $50,000 fine.

And individuals could be face a $10,000 fine under strict regulations around the ingredients, name and even shape of the Aussie favourite.

The rules around commercially baking Anzac biscuits state that the biscuits can not deviate substantially from the traditional shape and recipe, can not be referred to as 'Anzac cookies', or use the word Anzac inappropriately, such as with advertising that's deemed disrespectful.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) have strict regulations surrounding the use of the word 'Anzac' and those rules extend to how businesses bake their biscuits.

Anzac biscuits. Source: Getty.

DVA guidelines around the word 'ANZAC' were created to ensure "this important word" -- an acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps -- "was treated with the respect and dignity it deserved".

Applications to use the word must go through the DVA.

A failure to comply with those regulations can result in imprisonment and a penalty of up to $10,200 for individuals or $51,000 for businesses.

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That includes adding any ingredient (such as chocolate chips) to the biscuit recipe.

Gelato Messina Australia, the experimental gelato brand, confirmed to 10 daily that they were approached by the DVA two years ago to change the name of their 'Anzac Bikkie' gelato to 'Anzac Biscuit'.

Messina said they complied with the request and the DVA did not threaten them with a fine in the original email.

Speaking on Studio 10 on Tuesday morning, host Jono Coleman said he reckons the strict regulations are a good thing, similar to how the word 'champagne' is protected by French law.

"All over the world, people protect their recipes," Coleman said.

"It should be safeguarded. You can't put chocolate chips in it, you can't turn it into a muffin. Certain things are sacred."

It's not just the traditional treat: The word 'Anzac' is also restricted from being used to sell alcohol or tobacco products, in events associated with gambling, in business names (that don't have a geographic reason for adopting the term), or creative ventures such as films that don't donate proceeds to an ex-service organisation.