Safety First: Vietnam's national food safety upgrade, seafood adulteration in Singapore, Japan's nuclear food battle and more feature in our round-up

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Vietnam's national food safety upgrade, seafood adulteration in Singapore, Japan's nuclear food battle and more feature in this edition of Safety First. ©Getty Images
Vietnam's national food safety upgrade, seafood adulteration in Singapore, Japan's nuclear food battle and more feature in this edition of Safety First. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Food safety, Food security

Vietnam's national food safety upgrade, seafood adulteration in Singapore, Japan's nuclear food battle and more feature in this edition of Safety First.

Technology transfer: Vietnam food safety systems upgraded with help from South Korea

South Korea has completed of the first two phases of a new national food safety management system for Vietnam, using technology and information systems used in its home market.

South Korea has been assisting Vietnam to develop a new food safety management system since the Korea-Vietnam Summit in 2018, with the project being parked under the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme, where it provides aid to developing countries to promote economic development and social welfare.

“The project [is mutually beneficial for both countries] – South Korea will improve our international status by sharing our information technology (IT)-based food and drug safety management experience in Vietnam, [whereas] Vietnam gets access to an advanced system,”​ the ministry said via an official statement.

Fishy fraudulence: Supermarkets identified as main source of seafood adulteration in Singapore

Supermarket-bought imported seafood has been identified as the main source of seafood adulteration in Singapore, with calls for new technology to tackle the problem.

Singapore is heavily reliant on seafood as a protein and nutrition source, with an average consumption of 22kg per capita, but according to a recent Yale-NUS (National University of Singapore) study, over a quarter of this protein source could be fraudulently labelled and a potential threat to public health.

The researchers utilised DNA barcoding technology to identify the species of 89 seafood samples collected from restaurants and supermarkets across Singapore. Of these 89 samples, 23 or 25.8% were found to be mislabelled.

Fighting nuclear fears? Japan launches foreign language food radiation brochures as it battles to win confidence

The Japanese government has published a series of foreign language brochures on food and radiation in hopes of winning back the confidence of foreign markets that still have food and beverage import bans in place following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

As of February 2022, some 11 years after the incident, the majority of countries around the world have lifted most import restrictions and/or bans on food and beverage products from affected prefectures in Japan, particularly Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba.

Only four countries now remain with a full or partial ban on products from these regions: China, South Korea, Macau and Hong Kong – and it is clear that Japan’s recent move to translate its food and radiation brochures is targeted at these markets based on the languages chosen: English, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

“We have created English, Chinese and Korean versions of the latest edition of our Food and Radiation [mini brochure],”​ stated Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) via a formal statement.

Ukraine-Russia conflict: Indian, Chinese food firms should seek alternative veg oil supplies – Analyst

Indian and Chinese food firms should seek alternative or additional sources of vegetable oil, with both countries facing severe shortages and price hikes due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, according to an industry analyst.

The spike could impact manufacturers and companies that produce vegetable oil for consumers and those that use it as a major ingredient in the production process.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia​, Senior Analyst of Consumer Research at Fitch Solutions Brice Dunlop said: “We’re going to see a drop in Ukrainian supply. Therefore, there are three methods to overcome the price hikes: first, find alternative sources of oil immediately like ghee or palm oil; second, re-formulate products (depending on the usage of vegetable oil); or third, utilise ‘shrinkflation’ (sell in smaller quantities at the same price point to counter the effects of the supply shock)​.

Taiwan’s new regulations on aloe vera use in food, supplements to kick in next Jan

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration has announced new regulations on the use of aloe vera in foods and dietary supplements, which will kick in on January 1, 2023.

This follows the European Commission’s similar ban on aloe extracts and other hydroxyanthracene derivatives announced last year.

Under Taiwan’s new regulation, aloe vera raw materials used in food must be derived from the leaves of the species of Aloe Ferox ​and Aloe Vera. 

In addition, the skin of the leaves must be completely peel before it could be processed for use.

Related topics: Food safety

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