Regulatory round-up: See the news from South Korea, China, Taiwan

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

See the latest nutrition related regulations from South Korea, China, Taiwan

Related tags Taiwan South korea China

In this round-up, we will shine the spotlight on the health and nutrition regulatory developments in South Korea, China, and Taiwan.
Taiwan FDA considers use of 2’-FL fermented from new GM source for infant medical foods

Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering the use of 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) fermented from two new microbial strains in all infant and toddler food products, including Foods for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs).

The two strains of interest are GM Escherichia coli ​K-12 DH1 MDO MAP1001d and Escherichia coli ​BL21 (DE3) #1540, which are also the only two strains that are approved to ferment 2’-FL in Taiwan at present.

The intention is to “effectively and reasonably regulate [the use of] non-traditional food ingredients, while considering special nutrition needs at the same time,” ​the regulator said.

Less than half Korean health functional foods causing adverse events recalled in past 4.5 years – regulator

Less than half of the Health Functional Foods (HFF) reported to have caused adverse health events were recalled in South Korea between 2018 and June this year, according to official data.

Over the past five years, 31.85 tonnes of HFF were identified as hazardous products, but only 13.61 tonnes – amounting to 43 per cent – were recalled.

These products were recalled during market inspection due to reasons such as exceeding the expiry date and product contents not tallying with data submitted by the manufacturers etc.    

Sensory safety: China tightens regulations for non-alcoholic beverages and dairy products

China will implement stricter food safety and quality regulations for non-alcoholic beverages and dairy products, citing strict standards and requirements over areas such as sensory characteristics and ‘real’ product content.

The National Health Commission (NHC) and State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) recently announced tighter food safety and quality regulations for two major food and beverage categories in the country – non-alcoholic beverages and dairy products.

For non-alcoholic beverages, the focus was mainly on food safety and adherence to sensory characteristics such as colour, taste, smell and overall condition of the product, as well as microbial content for fermented products containing bacterial strains.

Labelling changes: Taiwan’s Health Ministry drafts logo for infant and toddler food products

Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has drafted a new logo and information to be printed on infant and toddler food products.

The logo, which consists of a woman carrying a baby, also comes with the slogans “mother’s breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for infants (母乳是嬰兒最佳的營養來源)” and “The Ministry of Health and Welfare cares for you (衛生福利部關心您).”

Other than that, the products should refrain from terms that makes reference to human breastmilk, such as “humanised milk (人乳化、母乳化) to show that the products are better than human breastmilk.

South Korea’s MFDS proposes blood pressure claim for health foods containing garlic

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has proposed to allow a blood pressure related claim in health functional foods (HFF) containing garlic.

It is proposing to allow the new claim “may help improve blood cholesterol and control blood pressure” ​in HFF containing garlic, as new scientific evidence emerges.

At the moment, garlic containing HFF can only claim to help improve blood cholesterol.

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