FoodNavigator-Asia spoke to Professor Yong Chul Shin, a previous member of the functional food committee on the Korean FDA, about the country’s current and future regulatory environment.
Shin said that Korea currently has strict health claim regulations covering supplements – “in Korea only supplements can be labelled with a health claim. Other general foods cannot be labelled with a functionality.”
However, he raised a few exceptions – nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and protein – are allowed to be labelled as the health associations are well known among consumers, he said.
Shin revealed that these regulations however, are set to change, as Korea’s FDA thinks the current system is very limiting and should be changed to include general foods.
He said that once the new regulations are implemented, Korea’s functional food market will soar.