CCM: Latest Standards for Uses of Food Additives issued 08-25-2016

In December 2014, the NHFPC issued the revised Standards for Uses of Food Additives, further specifying the use range and quantity of sweeteners. This will facilitate the healthy development of China's sweetener industry.


On 24 Dec., 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (NHFPC) issued the National Food Safety Standards – Standards for Uses of Food Additives (GB 2760-2014), to be actually implemented from 24 May, 2015. It plays as a substitute for the GB 2760-2011 version implemented on 20 June, 2011.


The latest standards include the adjustments in the range and quantity of sweeteners used:


1. Two sweeteners are added, thaumatin and twinsweet.

2. Apartame and neotame are specified to be applied in 71 and 56 food products (based on the Food Classification System) respectively. Also, the largest use quantities are defined. In the old version, both were allowed to use in every food product, with appropriate quantities in line with production requirements.

3. Ranges and quantities of some sweeteners used, such as steviol glycosides, sucralose and cyclamate are expanded.

4. Use range of sodium saccharin is narrowed down to 14 food products.


Obviously, the adjustment in the latest standards for sweeteners is targeted at high intensity sweeteners (HIS). In recent years, thanks to the public recognition on the low-sugar and low-calorie HIS, China’s HIS sector has witnessed rapid development. Along with continuously increasing exports, Chinese downstream food enterprises are also inclined to the use of HIS. In 2013, the total output of HIS reached about 120,000 tonnes, exports exceeding 50,000 tonnes.


Due to the low costs from the use of HIS, food enterprises may misapply the sweeteners in food products, especially in preserved plum and the alike. They would add more than two sweeteners in the production, so as to avoid the overuse of each sweetener and ensure the sweetness. Some enterprises even use the low-cost sodium saccharin or cyclamate to completely substitute sucrose. Then such food products would negatively impact health.


Indeed, the misapplication of HIS in China can be attributed to the relatively loose laws and regulations. At present, the National Standards for Food Additives is formulated in accordance with the international standards. In September 2014, the Codex Alimentarius Commission issued the revised General Standard for Food Additives (CODEX STAN 192-1995). This also provides a basis for China to revise the national standards. Nevertheless, the two standards still present some differences:


1.       China does not clearly specify or give any necessary explanations or demonstrations on the food coverage. This creates opportunities for some enterprises to carry out illegal production.


2. China is not fully qualified concerning the danger assessment and inspection technology for food additives and is in need of improvement compared with the international level.


In order to strengthen the management on food additive, the Chinese government will issue policies in succession. Chen Junshi, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering disclosed that China aims to finish the formulation of a food safety system, the only mandatory system in the nation by the end of 2015. The gradual improvement and strict implementation of policies and laws and regulations will propel downstream enterprises to normalize the sweetener application and further to sustain the industry development.

About CCM:

CCM is the leading market intelligence provider for China’s agriculture, chemicals, food & ingredients and life science markets. Founded in 2001, CCM offers a range of data and content solutions, from price and trade data to industry newsletters and customized market research reports. Our clients include Monsanto, DuPont, Shell, Bayer, and Syngenta. CCM is a brand of Kcomber Inc.


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Tag: sweetener, HIS

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