Regulatory review: India on sugar and weight loss, Taiwan to limit ashwagandha consumption and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Weight loss, ashwagandha consumption limit and more on nutra regulations round-up

Related tags ashwagandha India Taiwan South korea Thailand

In our monthly nutra regulatory round-up, we take a closer look at India’s stance on sugar, sweeteners and weight loss, South Korea’s support for slow-release supplements, and Taiwan FDA’s plans in limiting ashwagandha consumption amounts.
Country-specific context: India reiterates no-go stance on sweetener use for weight management

Existing guidelines do not endorse the replacement of sugar with sweeteners for weight loss, the Food Safety and Standards Authority India (FSSAI) said and called for local research to assess the actual impacts.

The regulator has responding to a World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline on a ‘conditional recommendation’ against the use of non-sugar sweeteners to control body weight or reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes.

It stressed that the guideline was “inconclusive” and there was neither sufficient nor substantive data that warranted revision to FSSAI’s existing standards.

Go slow: South Korea plans to support R&D of slow-release supplements with new guidelines

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) said it planned to drive the research and development of slow-release health supplements by implementing new manufacturing standards and guidelines.

Part of the intention is to promote the concept of “sustainable” health supplements, where consumers could achieve similar health benefits through reduced frequency of consumption.

For example, if the required daily intake of a vitamin C product is three tablets daily, the ministry hopes that new technologies would be used to reduce the daily intake into a single vitamin C tablet.

Taiwan FDA to set consumption limits on ashwagandha and seven other botanicals

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration said it would set consumption limits and usage warnings on ashwagandha and seven other botanicals that were being used as food ingredients.

For instance, it has proposed to limit the daily consumption of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera​) dried leaves and root extract at 250mg.

The rules are currently open for public feedback​ until September 26.

South Korea reviews regulations for nine ingredients, including oat fibre, CoQ10, inulin

South Korea is planning to revise the consumption warnings, daily intake, and heavy metal limits for health functional foods containing nine kinds of functional raw materials, including oat fibre and coenzyme Q10.

The other seven raw materials are squalene, conjugated linoleic acid, N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG), inulin/chicory root extract, chitosan / chito-oligosaccharides, garcinia cambogia extract, and aloe gel.

Some of the proposed precautions of use would include “breastfeeding mothers should avoid consumption” and “consult a specialist when taking anticoagulants” for coenzyme Q10 products and “children, pregnant and lactating women to avoid consumption” for squalene products, the MFDS said in an announcement.

Easing customs congestion: Thai FDA launches express digital service to accelerate processing of F&B imports

Thailand has set up a fully digitalised express customs processing service to speed up food and beverage import operations at its checkpoints – an initiative in line with the national Thailand 4.0 strategy.

The new express system is being overseen by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The new service will work to swiftly inspect and release imported goods including foods and beverages through Thai checkpoints with the need of nothing more than a single ID card from the person-in-charge, said Thai FDA Secretary-General Dr Paisarn Dankum.

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