The Ministry of Health (MOH) is drafting salt, glucose and fat limits as the country battles rising obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems.
Expected to come into effect later this year, the “regulation will require both processed-food manufacturers and fast food restaurants to label products with the amount of salt, sugar and fat in their products,” said Ekowati Rahajeng, MOH director for non-communicable disease control.
In Indonesia there are no regulations limiting the levels of glucose, fat or salt in foods, though the National Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) does require food makers to print ingredients and nutritional facts on labels.
“Now, we want all food manufacturers to also explicitly disclose the amount of salt, sugar and fat in their products,” she said.
Lily Banonah, director of cardiovascular disease control at the MOH, said that with the planned regulations, the government may apply a cap on salt for both food and beverages.
“But for sugar, we can only do that for beverages. It’s quite difficult to determine the amount of sugar allowed in food manufacturing processes as each type of food product needs different levels of sugar,” she said. For fat, there would only be guidance on the amount of calories to be consumer from fat.
According to the World Health Organization, Indonesia has about seven million people with diabetes, making it one of countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world after China, India and the US.