Regulatory review: Postbiotics redefinition, Taiwan animal test ban, and Thailand's new fish oil standards

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

This round-up looks at the redefinition of postbiotics by ISAPP, Taiwan animal test ban on anti-fatigue health claims and more.  ©Getty Images
This round-up looks at the redefinition of postbiotics by ISAPP, Taiwan animal test ban on anti-fatigue health claims and more. ©Getty Images

Related tags China Probiotics Taiwan Fish oil South korea Thailand Energy drinks

The redefinition of postbiotics, Taiwan animal test ban on anti-fatigue health claims, and new fish oil standards in Thailand are some of the topics covered in this regulatory round-up.
China beverage rules change: Regulator SAMR proposes clearer distinctions for powdered / granule drinks

The China authorities have proposed a set of regulations​ to better distinguish so-called ‘solid beverages’ from infant formula and Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs).

Solid beverages are in fact, powdered beverages, and are regulated as general foods in China.

The SAMR defines it as a form of general food prepared by processing raw food materials and food additives into powder, granules or lumps.

ISAPP moves to define definition and scope of postbiotics

The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) has clarified the term ‘postbiotics’​ in a statement that responds to the scientific groundswell and growing number of postbiotic applications.

Writing in Nature Reviews, ​postbiotics is now defined as, ‘a preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host.’

Examples of a postbiotic can therefore be whole microbial cells or components of the cells, that have been deliberately inactivated.

Anti-fatigue health claims: Taiwan animal test ban to increase cost and time for registering products

Health foods manufacturers wanting to make anti-fatigue claims​ in Taiwan can expect to spend a higher cost and a longer period of time registering products, after the local authorities banned animal testing on such items and insisted on human trials.

The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration announced the ban on animal test in health foods and beverages making anti-fatigue claims in mid-April. There will be a two-year transition period.

Manufacturers wishing to make anti-fatigue claim will need to present evidence from human clinical studies when the transition period ends.

Thailand fish oil standards: Firms have two-year transition period to meet new composition and production processes

Thai authorities have introduced new standards​ for fish oil based on the existing CODEX guidelines, where products will need to adhere to specific fatty acid compositions and production process.

Manufacturers and importers having two years to adopt the new specifications. 

For example, at least 50 per cent of the fatty acids in concentrated and highly concentrated fish oil should be EPA and DHA in the form of triglycerides and or phospholipids.

Timing, familiarity consumer understanding: Regulatory expert on approaching South Korea’s new General Foods with Function Claims  

The timing of market entry, familiarity with regulations, and detailed consumer understanding are crucial for firms considering opportunities within Korea’s new General Foods with Function Claims policy, according to a regulatory expert in the country.

Under the framework, general foods can make function claims​ so long as there is sufficient scientific evidence backing the claims.

General foods, in this case, include a variety of dosage formats, including beverages, confectionery, to capsules, pills and tablets.

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