TAIWAN—To reduce consumer confusion about the various dairy products available on supermarket shelves, Taiwanese authorities have drafted a new set of regulations for milk product labeling.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare has published these draft regulations, which require dairy product manufacturers to use clearer on-pack labels for various milk products.

“These new regulations have been drafted to increase the clarity of definitions of the terms used in [local dairy] regulations, to enable consumers to understand product information better and avoid confusion,” the ministry said in a formal statement.

The updated regulations will cover all milk-related products in Taiwan, including fresh, skimmed, evaporated, condensed, flavored, cream, infant formula, and more.

The objective is to make current regulations more comprehensive and to facilitate better compliance by the local industry, particularly regarding product labeling management.

The draft regulations highlight eight major changes to existing policies, mainly focusing on the wording used to describe various types of milk and more detailed label standards.

The regulations also specify that labeling all commercially retailed packaged dairy products must comply with specific standards. Only fresh and fortified fresh milk can be labeled “fresh milk” and “cow milk.”

All products must be thermally sterilized and filled aseptically in a hygienic environment. If a product has a shelf life of more than 30 days, labels must state “extended shelf-life fresh milk,” “long-lasting fresh milk,” “ESL milk,” or an equivalent term.

These changes aim to prevent consumers from unnecessarily wasting milk due to confusion about different dairy product shelf lives and to ensure that they do not mistakenly consume milk drinks thinking they are fresh products, as fresh milk is perceived to be healthier and more nutritious.

The public has until August 2024 to submit any objections or opinions to the ministry via email.

The regulation restricting the use of the term “fresh milk” only to fresh and fortified fresh milk is projected to come into effect on July 1, 2025, while all other parts of the announcement will go into effect on July 1, 2026.

In addition to definitions, the ministry has also specified the necessary font sizes for these labels.

For products 300ml and below, the font height and width must exceed 0.4cm; for products between 301ml and 600ml, these must exceed 0.8cm; and for products 601ml and above, these must exceed 1.2cm.

This ensures that consumers can read and understand product names and any information regarding the adjustment of ingredients.

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