THAILAND – The Thai Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) has released the requirements for food label nutritional symbols in accordance with 2014 amendments to the Thai Food Act.
Food labels with nutritional symbols must be verified and approved by the competent authority prior to sale in the Thai market. The nutritional standard or nutritional value used for the further verification of labelled nutritional symbols must conform to relevant technical requirements. The nutritional symbols shall be labelled following a standard approved format.
The nutritional symbols labelled must also comply with notifications on “Labelling for Prepackaged Foods”, “Special Foods” and “Labelling for Nutritional Foods” released by Thailand Ministry of Public Health.
Labels that stipulate nutrient levels in food products (e.g., claiming low fat, high vitamin C, etc.) must now meet criteria set by TFDA in order to make such nutritional claims and statements.
Comparative claims, such as “the best,” “the most,” “the first,” etc are prohibited, as the TFDA considers these claims to be difficult to prove.
TFDA has also issued legislation on “Premium Labelling,” which the agency classifies as a form of labelling that allows food producers to grade their food products, to protect their rights and the rights of consumers.
Under the regulations the word “premium” on a food product label indicates that the product possesses ‘special qualities’—qualities that the food producer must quantify. The use of the word “premium” is subject to the approval of the Thai FDA and approval can only be obtained by citing evidence in support of the food’s “premium” quality (e.g., the food has been certified as organic, it has a geographical indication, or it has special ingredients).
Nutrition tables can be presented in three different formats: “full,” “short,” and “parallel.” The Ministry of Public Health’s Notification requires each table to contain certain information such as the amount of food per serving size, number of serving sizes per unit, nutrient content, and percentage of Thai Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for each nutrient, per serving size, per day. A full format nutrition table must contain at least 15 mandatory nutrients – however if eight or less nutrients are present a short form may be used.
For more details on Thailand's requirements for food label nutritional symbols, read the full story on Packaging Business Insight Asia.
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