Food Label Inspection in Japan

Label bank_Professional Food Labeling in Japan

Key changes from old to new Standard
(sourced from Q&A for Food Labeling Standards)

Now that detailed requirements as to Manufacture Identification Codes was made available at the end of 2015, the new Food Labeling Standard is ready to be fully implemented. The Q&A for Food Labeling Standards released from the Consumer Affairs Agency–in which some useful labeling examples are presented–will help you better understand the new regulations in this transition period.

In this newsletter, we would like to share with you some key changes relating to food additives, allergens and nutritional information, which are mainly sourced from Q&A for Food Labeling Standards.
(*Some information is obtained from Food Labeling Standard and Enforcement Notification.)

1. Food Additive


MAIN POINT OLD STANDARD NEW STANDARD REF.NO
A separate listing of food ingredients and food additives Declaration of all ingredients in descending order by weight. Provision of food additive section (“None” statement is not allowed), or ingredient list with clear division of food ingredients and food additives. (加工-249)
(加工-251)

2. Allergens


MAIN POINT OLD STANDARD NEW STANDARD REF.NO
Individual allergen labeling(the allergen being labeled each time it appears in an ingredient) No specific rules Individual allergen labeling is required as a general rule: e.g. Milk: (乳成分を含む) (contains milk), (乳由来) (milk derived) (E-2)
(E-6)
(E-10)
Labeling of specified processed foods and ingredients that include the name of specified processed food No declaration is required: i.e. the declaration of ‘egg’ is not required for ‘mayonnaise’ in the ingredient list. Individual allergen labeling is required for ‘egg yolk’ and ‘egg white’: e.g. Egg yolk (卵を含む) (contains egg). (F-1)
(F-2)
(F-3)
Omission of allergen labeling Omission of repeated allergens is permitted. Omission of repeated allergens is prohibited (Note that the omission is prohibited for collective allergen labeling only–in which all names of allergens appear collectively at the end of ingredient list–but not individual allergen labeling). (E-7)
(E-4)
Expression for collective labeling (all names of allergens appear collectively at the end of ingredient list) and the mark used to separate items. Expression:(原材料の一部に~を含む)(Contains traces of xxx in some ingredients.)
Mark:No specific rules
Expression:(一部に~を含む)(Contains traces of xxx.)
Mark:Separate items with “・”: e.g. (一部に小麦・卵・落花生を含む) (Contains traces of wheat, eggs, peanuts)
(E-7)
(E-11)

3. Nutritional Information


MAIN POINT OLD STANDARD NEW STANDARD REF.NO
From ‘sodium’ to ‘salt equivalent’ “Sodium” (Mention of salt equivalent is voluntary.) “Salt equivalent” (The amount of sodium may be declared together.) (加工-216)
Presentation of nutrition declaration Sugars and dietary fiber may be declared in place of carbohydrate. Sucrose shall be mentioned in nutrition facts label. Declaration of carbohydrate is mandatory, and sugars and fiber dietary shall be indented when declared. Sucrose shall be declared outside the nutrition facts table. (加工-199)
(加工-257)
(加工-233)
Serving amount It is required to state “栄養成分表示” (Nutrition Facts label) with serving amount. (加工-259)
(加工-105)
The following information is obtained from the following sources: Food Labeling Standard and Enforcement Notification.
Comparative claims such as “reduced” and “increased” The absolute difference of amounts exceeding limits -The minimum relative difference requirements: 25 % or more
-The absolute difference requirements: 10 % or more (partially changed)
基準(Standard) P67 ~ 69
通知(Notification) P27 ~ 29
“No added” claims for sugars and salt No specific rules “No added” claims are prohibited for products that uses sugar and salt substitutes. 基準(Standard) P70 ~ 71
通知(Notification) P29
Nutrition claims and Food with nutrient function claims (FNFC)
The change in reference amount of nutrition forces to:
-Review nutrition claims
-Change lower and upper limits of FNFC
-Label targeted age
基準(Standard) P504 ~ 506
通知(Notification) P26

In this transition period of regulation change, reading through those reference materials such as the Q&A for Food Labeling Standards would help you not only to prepare an appropriate food label, but also to develop a plan for organizing necessary information.

Source:
http://www.caa.go.jp/foods/pdf/150320_kijyun.pdf
http://www.caa.go.jp/foods/pdf/151224_qa-togo.pdf
http://www.caa.go.jp/foods/pdf/151224_tuchi-togo.pdf

February 2016