South Korea plans to remove restrictions on protein manufacturing methods in view of sector boom

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

South Korea is planning to remove restrictions on protein manufacturing methods. ©Getty Images
South Korea is planning to remove restrictions on protein manufacturing methods. ©Getty Images

Related tags South korea MFDS Saw palmetto

South Korea is planning to remove the restrictions on methods in manufacturing protein Health Functional Food, as the sector sees a boom in new production techniques and types of raw materials used.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Administration (MFDS) announced the proposed changes, made to the Standards and Specifications for Health Functional Foods, this month. 

Currently, when manufacturing protein products, the method is limited to separating and purifying protein from raw materials such as beans and oil or manufactured only with the use of proteolytic or autolytic enzymes.

The new plan, said the MFDS, was to remove the restrictions, so as to enable to production of various protein products.

Instead, so long as companies comply with the manufacturing standards, specifications, and product requirements, they would be able to manufacture protein products.

By allowing more types of manufacturing methods, the MFDS hopes to lay the foundation for the development and supply of various protein products.

“Raw materials used in protein production have been expanded. However, the [approved] manufacturing methods are limited, so there are limitations in manufacturing various products.

“[We will] expand the manufacturing methods by deleting the [existing] methods from the Protein Manufacturing Standards.

“It is expected that various products will be released due to the expansion of protein manufacturing methods,” ​the MFDS said.

The MFDS’ proposal is open for public consultation until June 12.

New methods for detecting vegetable oil

In addition, the MFDS is preparing to implement new methods for detecting vegetable oil in health functional foods in January next year.

There have been cases of health functional foods, such as saw palmetto extract, being mixed with cheap vegetable oils.

As such, the regulator had finalised new methods and standards for testing the amounts of fatty acids and phytosterol levels last September.

Under the new standards​, fatty acids must comprise of 80 per cent or more of the total fatty acids, while phytosterols must be 0.2 per cent or more of total sterols, while beta-sitosterol must be 0.1 per cent or more.

Name change

Lastly, the MFDS is planning to change the scientific name of the Sanghuang Mushroom from Phellinus linteus ​to Sanghuangporus Sanghuang.

It explained that this was to reflect changes in its reclassification internationally.

The mushroom has a long history of use in China, Japan, and Korea. It has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties.

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