Far East digest

Taiwan to begin process to define chocolate standards

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Taiwan to begin process to define chocolate standards

Related tags: Chocolate

Taiwan’s food regulator expects to begin a process whereby it will form a clear-cut definition of chocolate in a bid to weed out fake versions. 

The Food and Drug Administration will convene a group of experts and academics by the end of October, having acknowledged that a number of brands that claim to be chocolate contain flavouring agents, artificial colouring, chemical agents and very little of the traditionally accepted formulation.

The regulator hopes in turn to amend its chocolate labelling regulations so that real “chocolate products” will only contain at least 35% cocoa solids.

The FDA’s food safety director, Hsueh Fu-chin, said this would conform to the Codex cocoa committee’s assertion on total cocoa solids, of which no less than 18% from should be cocoa butter and no less than 14% should be from fat-free cocoa solids.

Taiwan does not currently have a chocolate standard. To devise one, a working group will assess Codex along with chocolate regulations in other countries, while gathering views from the industry.

Lin Shu-fen, a Taiwanese legislator, has been pressing for such a standard.

Most of the chocolate products are made of chocolate flavored agents mixed with other types of [non-cocoa butter] fat, resulting in high levels of trans fats, and parents do not know their children are often eating food high in trans fat​,” Lin said in a Facebook post.

OmniActive’s Gingever launches in Japan

Health ingredients major OmniActive has followed up the launch of its Gingever high-potency ginger in Europe and North America with exports to the Japanese market.

The allergen-free ingredient is a super-critical fluid extract with 30% bioactives, of which a minimum of 25% is gingerols. It is made from a US FDA-acknowledged Gras source, meaning it’s listed as generally regarded as safe.

“Ginger is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with increasing evidence showing the vast potential of ginger as an ingredient with benefits for joint, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and metabolic health as well,” said Lynda Doyle, vice-president of global marketing.

“Just 60mg of Gingever provides similar amounts of gingerols as approximately 1,000mg of ginger root powders, allowing manufacturers to deliver a clinically relevant dose in one small pill.”

Gingever appears alongside a range of other OmniActive ingredients, including Lutemax 2020 lutein, with enhanced levels of Zeaxanthin Isomers, Lutemax Free lutein and lutein esters, RR-Zeaxanthin, and Capsimax capsicum extract.

S Korea might apply for TPP entry

South Korea could apply to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc, which was recently agreed between 12 Asian and American nations.

Speaking in Washington, President Park Geun Hye said Southe Korea was a “natural partner” after having earlier opted out of the pact. Korea could join the recently agreed Pacific free-trade deal, during a visit to Washington. 

"Korea welcomes the TPP agreement reached last week​," Park told the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 

"Having already signed trade agreements with 10 of the 12 TPP member countries, I believe Korea is a natural partner for the TPP​." 

South Korea had preferred to pursue a bilateral deal with China, which is not a TPP signatory, and other countries, rather than playing a part in TPP negotiations. 

Countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. 

The deal is seen by some as a counterbalance to growing Chinese economic clout in the region. 

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