Nutrition Labelling & Health Claims in Asia


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30-page slide: Covering 7 countries in South East Asia, plus China and Japan.

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Nutrition Labelling & Health Claims in Asia

  1. 1. E-Siong Tee, PhD Nutrition Adviser,Food Safety & Quality Division, Ministry of Health ,Malaysia 1
  2. 2. Outline of presentation …. Nutrition information on food labels (nutrition labeling and claims) assist consumers in making food choices Regulatory control is important to ensure they are factual and appropriate Codex provides guidelines to countries National authorities have their own regulations Overview of current status and recent regulatory developments in nutrition labeling, nutrition and health claims 7 SEAsian countries + China and Japan Challenges in implementing regulations Incl developing capabilities in food analysis
  3. 3. From a public health point of view, food labelscan be a useful source of nutrition information assist consumer in choice of food encourage use of nutrition principles when making food choices, preparing mealsTwo main types of nutrition information on labels nutrition labelling nutrition and health claimsSuch information also beneficial to foodindustry Enables manufacturers to highlight nutritional quality of their products Highlight the functions or health benefits of certain nutrients or “functional” components in food
  4. 4. Authorities need to control nutrition labelingand health claims, to ensure that suchinformation are factual and appropriatelypresentedCodex Alimentarius has published guidelinesto governments in establishing nationalregulations through Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, Programme, aimed at protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food tradeTwo Codex standards are of relevance, ie Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling Guidelines on Nutrition and Health Claims
  5. 5. CodexAlimentarius …...Food labelingcomplete text(5th edn, 2008; edn,amendments in2009, 2010)
  6. 6. 2-CAC/GL 2-1985 1-(Rev. 1-1993; 2003;2006, 2009; 2010) 23-CAC/GL 23-1997 1-(Rev. 1-2004.Amended,2001, 2008,2009. Annexadopted2009)
  7. 7. Nutrition labelling …... Nutrition labelling is a description intended to inform the consumer of nutritional properties of a food Often taken to mean Nutrient Declaration which is a standardised statement or listing of the nutrient content of a food (energy, protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals, etc) Often known as Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)
  8. 8. Nutrient declaration should be mandatory forfoods for which nutrition claims are made;voluntary for all other foodsWhere nutrient declaration is applied, thedeclaration of the following should bemandatory Energy, protein, available carbohydrate (i.e., excl dietary fibre), fat; these 4 nutrients are being expanded to include saturated fat, sodium & total sugars any other nutrient for which a nutrition or health claim is madeEnergy and nutrients should be declared asper 100 g or per 100 ml or per serving
  9. 9. Codex Nutrition andHealth Claims …... 23- CAC/GL 23-1997 (Rev. 1-2004. 1- Amended, 2001, 2008, 2009. Annex adopted 2009)
  10. 10. Nutrition claim means any representationwhich states, suggests or implies that a foodhas particular nutritional propertiesNutrition claims Nutrient content claim Comparative claimHealth claims means any representation thatstates, suggests or implies that a relationshipexists between a food or a constituent of thatfood and health, includes nutrient function claim other function claim and reduction of disease risk claims
  11. 11. Nutrient function claims …. describes the physiological role of the nutrient in growth, development and normal functions of the body, eg Calcium aids in the development of strong bones and teeth Iron is a factor in red blood cell formationOther function claims ….. describes specific beneficial effects of the consumption of a food constituent in improving or modifying a physiological function, eg Plant sterols helps in lowering blood cholesterol
  12. 12. Reduction of disease risk claim ….. relates the consumption of a food or food constituent to the reduced risk of developing a disease or health related condition, eg Soy protein reduces risk to heart diseaseFunction claim vs disease risk reduction …. Function claim Disease risk reduction claimBeta glucan from oat helps lower Beta glucan from oat helps reduceblood cholesterol risk to heart diseaseCalcium is important for bone and Calcium reduces risk to osteoporosisteeth formation
  13. 13. Nutrition labelling andhealth claims in Asia ….
  14. 14. Food regulatory agencies welcome efforts offood companies to disseminate suchnutrition information to consumers However, they have to ensure that such information is factual and appropriately presented Hence increased interest and efforts of authorities to improve regulatory control of nutrition labeling and health claimsMore countries are looking towards CodexAlimentarius for guidance in establishingnational regulations
  15. 15. Nutrition labelling in Asia …. ….. Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; China, Japan
  16. 16. There is no harmonised regulations onnutrition labelling in the Asian countriesMalaysia enforced mandatory nutritionlabeling for wide variety of foods in 2005 more than 50 categories of commonly consumed foods, contributing significantly to dietary intakeIn other Southeast Asian countries (Brunei,Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,Vietnam), Japan and China, mandatorynutrition labeling is only applicable to: foods for special dietary uses (eg infant cereal- formula, cereal-based foods for children) foods making nutrition claims fortified or enriched foods
  17. 17. many products in these countries do havevoluntary nutrition labeling with formatguidelines provided by national authorityformat and requirements for NIP dif fer widely forcountries in the region Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore & Vietnam require 4 core nutrients (energy, carbohydrate, protein and fat) Indonesia, China and Japan require 5 core nutrients (the 4 above plus sodium) Thailand format more similar to the USFDA format (14 nutrients)Declaration per 100 g /ml and/or per servingdiffers for the various countriesOnly Malaysia uses Codex NRV on NIP; othercountries use national RDAs
  18. 18. Nutrition & Healthclaims in Asia …. ….. Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; China, Japan
  19. 19. Status of nutrition claims Country Nutrition claimBrunei Yes, but only for energy and several nutrients, excluding vitamins & minerals; criteria not stipulatedIndonesia Yes, nutrient content claim, comparative claim; criteria for claim based on NRV IndonesiaMalaysia Yes, nutrient content claim, comparative claim; format and criteria im, generally similar to CodexPhilippines Yes, nutrient content claim, comparative claim; format generally similar to Codex; criteria based on RENI PhilippinesSingapore Yes, nutrient content claim, comparative claim; criteria for claim based on RDA, not NRVThailand Yes, nutrient content claim, comparative claim; format generally similar to Codex; criteria based on Thai RDI rather than NRVChina Yes, nutrient content claim, comparative claim; format and criteria im, generally similar to CodexJapan Yes, nutrient content claim only; format generally similar to Codex; but different criteria used
  20. 20. Status of nutrient function claims Country Nutrient function claimBrunei Not permittedIndonesia Yes, in new regulations to be enforced; 4 macro macro-nutrients (protein, fat, linoleic acid, carbohydrates), 8 vitamins, 3 mineralsMalaysia Yes, 23 claims for protein 9 vitamins, 5 minerals rotein,Philippines Yes, according to Codex; no positive listSingapore Yes, 26 claims for 3 mac nutrients (protein, lactose, dietary acro fibre), 7 vitamins, 5 mineralsThailand Yes, 29 claims for protein dietary fibre, 13 vitamins, 14 protein, mineralsChina Yes, 60 claims for 8 macronutrients (energy, fat, protein, saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, sugar, dietary fibre), 6 minerals, 11 vitaminsJapan Yes, 17 claims for 12 vitamins, 5 minerals
  21. 21. Status of other function claims Country Other function claimBrunei Not permittedIndonesia Yes, in functional foods regulation 2005 (e.g. prebiotic prebiotic, probiotic, plant sterol/ sterol/stanols)Malaysia 29 claims for variety of other food components ( (eg dietary fibres, sterol, soy protein, DHA/AA)Philippines Yes, according to Codex; no positive listSingapore 10 claims for collagen, probiotics prebiotics, plant probiotics, sterolsThailand Not permittedVietnam Yes; no positive listChina Not permittedJapan FOSHU (over 800 products approved to date)
  22. 22. risk-Status of disease risk-reduction claims Country Disease risk risk-reduction claimBrunei Not permittedIndonesia Yes, in functional foods regulation 2005Malaysia Not permittedPhilippines Yes, according to Codex; no positive listSingapore 5 nutrient/food specific claims, ie Ca/Vit; Na; sat fat/trans fats; fibre; whole grains, fruits & veggiesThailand Not permittedVietnam Yes; no positive listChina Not permittedJapan Only calcium and osteoporosis and folate and neural tube defect
  23. 23. Summary status of nutrition & health claims There are no harmonised nutrition and health claims regulations in Asian countries There are considerable differences in the permitted nutrition and health claims Nutrition claims are permitted in all the countries reviewed; however criteria for claims differ among countries, some similar to Codex All countries allow nutrient function claims; types of claims differ; most countries have a positive list of permitted claims
  24. 24. Summary status of nutrition & health claims … differences in permitted claims Other function claims are permitted in all countries, except in Brunei, China and Thailand − related to several bioactive components non- including several dietary fibres and non- digestible oligosaccharides, and plant sterols Disease risk reduction claims are considered higher level claims and are permitted only in a few countries, namely Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Japan − and only for a few nutrients or bioactive compounds or food
  25. 25. Nutrition and health Claims (2) Regulatory system related to claims differ considerably positive- Most countries adopt a positive-list approach Claims not on the listed are not permitted, case- but industry may apply on a case-by –case basis Approval based on scientific substantiation of proposed claim There will certainly be increased interest and activities in the region amongst consumers, food industry and regulatory agencies
  26. 26. Challenges inimplementing nutritionlabelling and claims ….
  27. 27. Develop capabilities in food analysis …. For truthful nutrition labeling, manufacturers must ensure accurate data on the composition of the nutrients contained in the food Similarly, for nutrition and health claims, accurate data on the amounts of the nutrients or food components are needed For scientific substantiation of the claimed health effects, accurate quantitation of the amounts of these nutrients or components is essential well- For regulatory agencies, well-equipped well- laboratories and well-trained personnel are required for surveillance and enforcement purposes
  28. 28. Challenges faced by authorities …. Concerned with effective communication of labelling and claims information to consumers Difficulty faced by consumers in understanding nutrient declaration format misunderstanding of claims, potential misuse, simplistic interpretation of claims Lack of data on how consumers understand and utilise such information need to educate consumers on appropriate use of labelling and claims information on labels Inadequate resources for enforcement of regulations
  29. 29. Challenges faced by food industry …. Lack of expertise and expenses to obtain nutrient content for declaration, particularly for smaller industries Unclear regulations on the permitted health claims Lack of clear regulatory framework for application of amendments to regulations, including nutrition claims Lack of expertise to submit applications for nutrition claims Long lag time between application for amendment to final approval