Regulatory review: Latest updates on Malaysia’s supplement registration trend, Singapore’s vitamin B6 warning and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Malaysia’s supplement registration trend, Singapore’s vitamin B6 warning in nutra regulatory round-up

Related tags Malaysia Singapore South korea Australia New zealand

In our monthly nutra regulatory round-up, we take a closer look at the health supplement registration trends in Malaysia, warning against excessive vitamin B6 intake in Singapore, South Korea’s plans in setting national guidelines for the personalised nutrition sector and more.
New Malaysia data: Health supplements registered on the rise while natural products hit five-year low

The number of health supplements registered in Malaysia has been on the rise in recent years, but those classed as natural products, which consist of herbal remedies, has hit five-year low, according to a report released by the country’s health ministry.

Last year, 451 health supplement products were successfully registered, reflecting a upward trend since the outbreak of COVID-19, when the number of registration grew from 424 in year 2020 to 438 to 2021.

In contrast, the number of registered natural products, which comprise of traditional medicine, herbal remedies, ready herb products, and homeopathic medicine, had dropped to 615 last year – the lowest in the past five years.

China proposes stricter protein requirements for milk powder products targeted at older children and adults

The Chinese authorities have proposed stricter protein requirements for milk and formulated milk powder products designed for children, adults, and the elderly.

“In the past, the requirement for dairy solids as a whole in formulated milk powder cannot be less than 70 per cent, but now the authority is stating that dairy solids from the main raw material alone cannot be less than 70 per cent, which is a stricter requirement,” ​Cathy Yu, general manager, food business division at Hangzhou-based regulatory consulting firm CIRS told NutraIngredients-Asia​.

The proposed requirements will not only pertain to products made from common milk sources such as cow and goat milk, but could also extend to those made from yak, camel, donkey, and horse milk.

Vitamin B6 warning: Supplement firms advised to warn against excessive intake on product labels – Singapore HSA

Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has advised health supplements firms to warn consumers the association between excessive vitamin B6 intake and the risk of developing peripheral neuropathy.

In a regulatory update dated May 23, it said that the maximum allowable limit for vitamin B6 in health supplements was 100mg per day for adults, which was aligned with the upper limit set by Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Canada, and the US. 

It also advised health supplements companies to inform consumers the potential risk of excessive vitamin B6 intake and developing peripheral neuropathy via product labelling.

The rising star? South Korea project to set national guidelines for personalised nutrition sector

The South Korean authorities are in the midst of a five-year long project in establishing national guidelines for the flourishing personalised nutrition category.

Helming the project are Log(me) Inc – a spin-off from Ewha Womans University, microbiome start-up Human Effective Microbes Pharma (HEM Pharma), as well as Ehwa Womans University. They were selected by South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) to oversee the project worth KRW$2.2bn (US$1.66m).

Dr. Yosep Ji, CEO of HEM Pharma, said that personalised nutrition was seen as a “new rising star”​ in the health and nutrition sector.

Infant formula in ANZ: Regulator calls for second public consultation subcategory proposals

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is conducting a second public consultation on infant formula regulations.

This time round, it is seeking public feedback on how infant formula products would comprise of three subcategories. 

They are infant formula, follow-on formula, and special medical purpose product for infants (SMPPi), after considering public feedback received from the first round of consultation.

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