Taiwan Proposes Major Revisions to its Food Additive Standards

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January 9, 2019 - Xiaolu Wang

Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare (MoHW) has published the Proposed Standards for Scope, Application and Limitation of Food Additives. The proposed standards will likely replace the Standards for Specification, Scope, Application and Limitation of Food Additives (the Food Additive Standards). Public consultation on the proposal is open until 27 May 2019.

Compared to the Food Additive Standards, the following revisions are proposed:

  • A classification system would be introduced for food products in which permitted food additives may be used.
  • A positive list system would be confirmed in the standard text. Under this system, only food additives that are specifically listed under the Food Additive Standards may be used in Taiwan. In addition use of food additives must comply with all restrictions as imposed under the standards, including permitted usage scopes and maximum usage levels.
  • Limits would be imposed on the types of food products in which food additives can be used as necessary. Under the proposal various food additives may be used in an amount that's necessary for production purposes. There are, however, multiple types of food products in which these food additives are prohibited from being added. Examples of these food products include fresh fruits and vegetables, honey and salt.
  • Exemptions would be provided for food additives that are carried over from food ingredients and other raw materials used in the manufacture of foods provided they meet the criteria as prescribed under the proposal and are not used in formula foods for infants, young children and infants suffering from certain diseases.
  • Additional functional classes of food additives would be introduced. Currently, there are 17 permitted functional classes of food additives including preservatives, antioxidants, and bleaching agents. The proposal would increase this number to 28 classes.
  • Quality specifications for food additives would be removed from the Food Additive Standards.

Affected parties would be granted a two-year transition period before they would be subject to the requirements under the proposal.

Business Impact

Companies that operate in the food industry should note that Taiwan has proposed to revamp its main food additive standards. Additional permitted functional classes would be introduced for food additives. Furthermore it is reiterated that food additives that are not specifically listed under the proposal would be strictly prohibited in Taiwan, as is the use of food additives that exceed the permitted usage scope.

Affected parties are recommended to review the proposal and submit any comments to the MoHW before 27 May 2019.

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