China is set to bring new food packaging regulations into practice for 2013 and is urging companies to adopt the measures now in preparation.
The regulations have been referred to as new nutrition labelling on pre-packaged food and they are due to come into action on the 1st of January.
Under the new regulations, food labels are intended to reach a set standard and provide basic nutritional information of the packaged product. Theses standards are predominately aimed at pre-packaged food, rather than fresh organic substances.
Chinese Nutrition Labelling
The labels will be required to provide information on the nutritional structure and the containing ingredients. The standard is for labels to at least identify four main nutritional points. These will be the amount of: protein in a product, fat, carbohydrate and sodium. In addition: a calorie count will also be required to be present on the food labelling.
These measures are part of an ongoing bid by the Chinese Ministry of Health to reduce the amount of the country's chronic non-communicable diseases, which are commonly thought of as ‘diseases of influence'.
Au Zhi, an official from China's ministry of health commented at a press conference:
"China faces a severe situation of chronic non-communicable diseases and information on the packages will help consumers avoid the intake of unhealthy elements, such as saturated fat and cholesterol and increase the ingestion of dietary fibres."
Food manufacturers are being urged to make preparations for the new regulations before they come into affect.
The new regulations have been backed by research that has been undertaken by the Chinese Centre of Disease Control and Prevention since 2002.
China is not the only country that is revising its food regulations. Both India and Indonesia are set to bring new food regulations into force for the new year.
These new regulations being drawn up in Asia will have an impact on foreign companies exporting into these countries as they will have to adhere to the new packaging standards.
For the part of India and Indonesia the revised food standards are predominantly focussing on genetically modified food. In India, it is to become standard practice for any food that is GM to have this clearly stamped on the principle display panel.
Image Copyright FotoosVanRobin - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons