Food producers must list additives used in their products

SGGP
The Vietnam Food Administration on April 12 released an official dispatch clarifying regulations of Vietnam on preservatives in food in general and in chili sauce in particular, involving the issue that 18,000 bottles of Chin-su chili sauce by Masan Consumer Corp, a subsidy of Masan Group, were recalled by Japanese authorities for containing benzoic acid.
The dispatch said that benzoic acid and its salt sodium benzoate as well as sorbic acid and its salt potassium sorbate are preservatives allowed to use in chili sauce with a maximum content of 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of product according to Circular No.27 issued on November 30, 2012 and Circular No.08 issued on May 11, 2015 by the Ministry of Health on instructions for management of food additives.

Accordingly, the office affirmed that the content of benzoic acid or its salt sodium benzoate and sorbic acid or its salt potassium sorbate in Chin-su chili sauce does not exceed 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of product which is in conformity with Vietnamese regulations and safe for consumers.

However, according to the office, food manufacturers must name all the additives they use in their products, including the group names of additives, names of additives or their International Numbering System codes (if available).

The office also said that Japan has not had any regulation on the use of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in chili sauce yet and these additives are not banned from being used in food here because Japan allows the use of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in caviar, margarine, soy sauce and non-alcoholic drinks.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of the Vietnam Food Administration, said that the Vietnam’s food standards are in no way lower than international ones as the country’s food standards were built based on standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Currently, 189 countries, including the US, Japan and China, are applying these standards of Codex.

By Minh Khang – Translated by Thuy Doan

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