Hot Right Now: India spice contamination scandal, China pre-packaged labelling, EUDR debates and more trending stories in our round-up

by micheljwpn

India’s spice industry under fire: How can the authorities prevent another contamination scandal?

How can India’s spice sector bounce back from two high profile contamination scandals? We ask experts in the country to weigh in with their recommendations.

Carcinogenic ethylene oxide is a pesticide that has been found in spice powders from major Indian brands Everest and MDH, putting the country’s spice industry under intense scrutiny. 

This has led to bans in Hong Kong and the Maldives, product recalls in Singapore, and more possible bans with stricter checks on India’s spices in Australia and the US.

Despite the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) emphasising its stringent regulations, overseas bans and domestic concerns have raised questions about the effectiveness of these measures. Experts weigh in on whether India is sending the right message about its commitment to food safety, and what can be done differently to prevent future contamination cases.

On the outside: China announces new labelling standards for pre-packaged foods to ensure visibility and clarity

The China State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has announced new regulatory standards for pre-packaged food labels, urging food and beverage companies to comply in order to boost clarity for consumers.

China has made many updates to its food packaging regulations over the past few years surrounding labels​, packaging quantity​ and materials​. In its most recent update, the state regulator SAMR has announced a new set of labelling standards that all food and beverage manufacturers have been encouraged to comply with.

“In accordance with China’s Food Safety Law and to facilitate consumers being able to clearly and easily identify information on the labels of all pre-packaged food products, food and beverage firms are now encouraged to optimise their product labels according to these new standards,”​ SAMR stated via a formal statement.

Sustainability snag: Experts blast new EU-funded analysis touting ‘shortcomings’ in Malaysian palm oil certification scheme

Palm oil industry experts have criticised a new EU-backed analysis that identified ‘shortcomings’ in Malaysia’s national sustainability certification scheme that prevent it from being fully accepted under the new EU Deforestation Regulations (EUDR).

The gap analysis was funded by the EU and conducted by the European Forest Institute (EFI). Its findings were recently presented via an online forum conducted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), which FoodNavigator-Asia​ attended.

According to EFI Technical Expert Dr Josil Murray, the analysis had identified four major ‘information gaps’ in the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme, which covered areas across geolocation, deforestation-free, legal and traceability issues.

“For geolocation, at present polygon information in line with EUDR requirements is not available [and] are not in a format that can be transferred along the supply chain,”​ she told the floor.

In soy we trust: Yeo’s, NutriSoy look to boost Singapore soya milk popularity with fortification innovations

Singapore beverage giants Yeo’s and F&N’s NutriSoy have both launched new fortified soya milk innovations in a bid to tap on surging consumer health trends.

Although the plant-based category has had a tough time in the region of late, soy milk has long been a supermarket staple in Asia.

The maturity of the sector tends to lead to more affordable prices, especially in South East Asian markets such as Singapore where a 1L carton of soya milk (around S$2/US$1.48) retails for less than a 1L carton of fresh dairy milk (around S$3.60/US$2.67).

This has also emerged as a strong driver for soya milk brands to continue investing into portfolio expansion regularly, and over the past six months this innovation has moved from a previous sugar-reduction focus towards a fortification focus in Singapore.

Hard cell? Expert opinions clash over GOOD Meat’s 3% cultivated chicken launch in Singapore

Cultivated meat brand GOOD Meat’s recent retail launch of a new chicken product in Singapore has divided experts across the food industry as to whether this is a step forward for the sector or simply a means to cut costs amidst the firm’s financial struggles.

GOOD Meat recently announced that its retail cultivated chicken GOOD Meat 3, which contains 3% of lab-grown meat, would be sold at retail outlet Huber’s Butchery in Singapore starting May 16 2024, assuring consumers that this would be available ‘for the remainder of 2024’​.

This can be considered the world’s first and only retail launch of a cultivated meat, and at S$7.20 (US$5.36) for 120g this pricing is still higher than that of conventional meats. However, it is lower than the pricing of its cultivated chicken dishes served in Restaurant 1880 after it first received regulatory approval​ from the Singapore Food Agency back in 2020, which were about S$23 (US$17.11) a plate.

This foodservice collaboration has since been halted, and GOOD Meat parent company Eat Just also paused its cultivated chicken production in both its own and partner facilities in Singapore and halted plans for a new plant​ amidst legal issues it is facing in the United States.

Animal alerts: South Korea tightens food safety requirements for animal-based food product imports

The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) is implementing stricter food safety requirements when importing animal-based products into the country.

South Korea already has a strict food safety process in place for livestock product imports that requires specific export certification, which MFDS has announced will be expanded to cover animal-based foods in order to ensure hygiene and safety requirements are met.

“MFDS has expanded the import hygiene evaluation system that is currently applied to livestock products to also include animal-based foods,”​ MFDS Minister Oh Yoo-kyung said via a formal statement.

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multipurpose site for ROV ,drone services,mineral ores,ingots,agro commodities-oils,pulses,fatty acid distillate,rice,tomato concentrate,animal waste -gallstones,maggot feed ,general purpose niche -consumer goods,consumer electronics and all .Compedium of news around the world,businesses,ecommerce ,mineral,machines promotion and affiliation and just name it ...

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