CHINA – The Department of Food Safety Standards, Risk Surveillance and Assessment under the China National Health Commission (NHC) has released the exposure drafts of 38 national food safety standards, which include 12 newly established standards, 21 newly revised standards, and 5 amendment sheets.

The majority of these drafts deal with standards for contamination limits, food items, nutritional fortification substances, foods for specific dietary usage, food additives, and food-related products.

The primary raw materials for fermented alcoholic beverages can be tubers and honey. The draft now includes a formaldehyde limit for wine and fruit wine.

It is not essential to label the specific fruit content of compound fruit wines, only the total fruit content, because the formula proportion can be a technological secret.

Wine products must be labeled with a shelf life after purchase if their alcohol content is less than 10% vol.

GB 9685-2016 is one of the general standards under China’s food contact materials (FCM) regulatory system, which ensures the standardized use of additives in the production of food contact materials and articles. This draft amends three annexes of GB 9685-2016, including Annex A, B, and D.

The draft clarifies that the permitted additives for food contact rubber in GB 9685-2008 can also be used for the production of silicone rubber.

It also spells out that the amount of sodium hypochlorite used in the production of starch shall not exceed 55g per kg of dry starch (by chlorine).

For cereal-based complementary baby food and canned complimentary baby food, the revisions mainly involve ingredient usage and nutrient levels.

The document also includes guidelines for evaluating the safety of bacterial strains used in food, which are currently absent in China.

In this draft, the terms “health food” and “novel food ingredient” are removed from the application scope, reports ChemLinked.

The Commission has made the requirements flexible by allowing stakeholders to use other methods that have an equivalent impact in addition to the test methods listed in the draft.

Part 4.8 Nitrite of GB 2762-2022 Maximum Levels of Contaminants in Foods has been replaced by the proposed GB standard for maximum levels of nitrite in foods.

The draft increases the nitrite limit for packaged drinking water (apart from drinking natural mineral water) from 0.005 mg/L to 0.1 mg/L in comparison to the present nitrite limit standards.

Also, it sets a 30 mg/kg nitrite limit for edible bird nests.

In addition, the Commission has created a sheet of amendments for GB 19299-2015 Jelly that broadens the definition of jelly.

The updated definition now takes into account more typical raw materials like starch, sugar, and egg products.

To prevent jelly from consisting solely of water and food additives, jelly products must be mixed with two or more raw components.

It is acceptable to utilize other food raw ingredients that adhere to food safety regulations, such as coffee powder, in addition to those that are included in the definition.

NHC is calling upon the public to give feedback on the proposed drafts before March 20, 2023.

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