Regulations on food packaging will take effect from January 1, 2013, to guide the public and reduce the risks of non-communicable chronic diseases, reported Su Zhi, representative of the Ministry of Supervision Public Health of China on August 13.
Zhi explained that "the regulations provide standards for nutrition labels on food packages, so that customers will be informed about their structure and nutritional ingredients," adding that "the labels must detail the percentage of protein, fat, carbohydrates and sodium in products and their caloric value. "
In addition, the new legislation provides specific rules for labeling of nutritional content, names and functions. Similarly, the health official stated that China's first regulations were drafted in 2007, based on the experiences reported by international food institutes, and the actual situation in the country.
"China is facing a troubling future in terms of increasing non-communicable chronic diseases, so information on the packaging is to help consumers avoid unhealthy elements, like saturated fat and cholesterol, and increase their dietary fiber intake", argued Zhi.
Packaging must include information on calories and amount of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt.
The European Parliament has adopted a clearer and more legible system of food labels. Packaging will include information on calories and amount of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt. Consumers therefore will be better informed when purchasing foodstuffs.