Hot Right Now: China sesame oil fraud and dairy sector trends, plant-based labelling and trending stories on our social media

By Pearly Neo

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China sesame oil fraud and dairy sector trends, plant-based labelling and more social media trending stories feature in this edition of Hot Right Now. ©Getty Images
China sesame oil fraud and dairy sector trends, plant-based labelling and more social media trending stories feature in this edition of Hot Right Now. ©Getty Images

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China sesame oil fraud and dairy sector trends, plant-based labelling and more social media trending stories feature in this edition of Hot Right Now.

Food oil fraud: China issues warning about adulterated and blended sesame oils

The Chinese government has published new consumer guidelines focused on sesame oil, in which consumers have been warned to look out for adulterated or blended products over fears of food safety issues.

The guidelines were published by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), calling upon consumers to pay more attention to food labels when making sesame oil purchases.

“Sesame oil is one of the most traditional edible oils used in China which is highly popular with consumers due to its a strong fragrance – these guidelines have been issued in order to ensure that consumers are able to safely purchase this based on scientific principles,”​ said SAMR via a formal statement.

“It is first important to read the nutritional labels when buying sesame oil – to be called sesame oil, the main ingredient should be sesame and sesame only, not including any other type of oil or vegetable oil. All others should not be labelled as sesame oil.

‘Huge China dairy potential’: Yili predicts rising demand for value-added and sustainable products

Chinese dairy giant Yili has predicted that local consumer demand for value-added and sustainable dairy is likely to increase over the next decade, with the backing of technological innovation to solve local industry challenges.

Yili recently presented at the virtual Global Dairy Congress , where it also walked away as the only award winner from Asia at the World Dairy Innovation Awards with three of the most-coveted awards: Best Dairy Drink, Best Functional Dairy, and Best Packaging Design.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia​ after the congress, Yili Assistant President Dr Yun Zhanyou emphasised his confidence in the growth of the Chinese dairy market for the near future and highlighted that Chinese consumers are increasingly on the lookout for value-added and sustainable dairy products.

“Although China's dairy industry is growing at a fast pace, the gap between China's dairy consumption per capita and the world average is still large, which means there is huge potential for future growth - We are confident about the growth of the Chinese dairy market,”​ he told us.

Plant-based label war Down Under: Labelling battle heats up as alt protein and meat sectors clash over research

The battle over plant-based labelling in Australia is heating up with representatives from both the plant-based sector and the traditional meat sector coming up with their own research to prove their points.

The debate began in earnest last year when Australian Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud hosted a roundtable to discuss the issue, which was deemed by the plant-based industry to have ‘unbalanced representation’ in favour of the traditional meat and dairy industries.

Following this, the Australian government has also held a public inquiry into the use of traditionally meat-related terms such as ‘beef’, ‘meat’, ‘burgers’ and so on for plant-based product labelling, again drawing heated debate between traditional meat and dairy producers and the plant-based sector.

Since then, both the plant-based and traditional sectors have been engaging in a battle of sorts to put out their own research to further argue their points.

Plant-based nutritional pitfalls: Why novel products don’t necessarily improve diet quality - Study

Diets with novel plant-based products tend to fall below the daily requirements for calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B12, while often exceeding saturated fat, sodium and sugar levels, according to a new study.

Globally, there is a boost in new plant-based meat alternatives that are being marketed as sustainable and good for health.

Novel plant-based meat alternatives are highly formulated, processed products that rely on protein isolates, colours, flavours and processing aids to achieve a “meat-like” sensory appeal. 

However, there is no evidence on long-term consumption of substituting animal-based foods for newer plant-based meat, dairy and eggs.

Beyond China and India: Malaysian palm oil industry seeks to broaden export opportunities – MPOC exclusive part 1

The new leadership team at the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has revealed plans to increase industry engagement as well as diversify the country’s major export markets beyond China and India.

MPOC is Malaysia’s foremost palm oil advocacy industry body, working together with the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) which primarily represents producers, and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) which engages in R&D, and the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) which works on standards and certifications to advance the local palm oil industry.

In an exclusive interview with FoodNavigator-Asia​, newly-appointed MPOC CEO Datuk Dr Wan Zawawi Wan Ismail, who took over the helm earlier this year, revealed that he plans to introduce more industry engagement in MPOC’s strategy development.

“MPOC is primarily funded by the palm oil industry, and as such in addition to the good work that MPOC has been doing all along, I believe that we need to improve on and increase industry engagement when implementing our palm oil promotion and other strategies to ensure that these are more impactful,”​ Datuk Dr Wan Zawawi told us.

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