Vietnam’s national food safety upgrade, Singapore’s seafood adulteration, Japan’s nuclear food battle and more


Technology transfer: Upgrading Vietnam’s food safety systems with help from South Korea​

South Korea has completed 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 helping Vietnam develop a new food safety management system since the Korea-Vietnam summit in 2018, with the project placed under the Korea Ministry of Health’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) program. Food and Drug Security (MFDS), where it provides assistance 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 experience of information technology (IT) based food and drug safety management in Vietnam, [whereas] Vietnam has access to an advanced system,”the ministry said in an official statement.

Fish fraud: Supermarkets identified as the main source of seafood adulteration in Singapore

Imported seafood bought from supermarkets has been identified as the main source of seafood adulteration in Singapore, with calls for new technologies to tackle the problem.

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

Researchers used 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 mislabeled.

Fighting nuclear fears? Japan launches foreign-language food radiation pamphlets as it fights to win trust

The Japanese government has released a series of foreign-language pamphlets on food and radiation in hopes of regaining the trust of overseas markets that still have food and drink import bans after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. .

By February 2022, some 11 years after the incident, the majority of countries around the world had 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 continue to fully or partially ban products from these regions: China, South Korea, Macao and Hong Kong – and it is clear that Japan’s recent decision to translate its food and radiation brochures targets these markets on the basis of the chosen languages: English, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

“We have created English, Chinese and Korean versions of the latest edition of our Food and Radiation [mini brochure]”,said the Japan Consumer Agency (CAA) via an official statement.

Ukraine-Russia conflict: Indian and Chinese food companies should seek alternative sources of vegetable oil – Analyst

Indian and Chinese food companies should seek alternative or additional sources of vegetable oil as both countries face severe shortages and price hikes due to Ukraine-Russia dispute, industry analyst says .

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.

Talk to FoodNavigator-Asia​, Senior Consumer Research Analyst at Fitch Solutions, Brice Dunlop, said: “We are going to see a drop in Ukrainian supply. Therefore, there are three methods to overcome price increases: first, find alternative sources of oil immediately such as ghee or palm oil; second, to reformulate the products (according to the use of vegetable oil); or third, using “shrinkflation” (selling in smaller quantities at the same price to counter the effects of the supply shock)​.

Taiwan’s new regulations on the use of aloe vera in food and supplements will take effect next January

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

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

Under new Taiwanese regulations, aloe vera raw materials used in food must come from the leaves of the species of Aloe Ferox and Aloe Vera.

Additionally, the skin of the leaves must be completely peeled off before it can be processed for use.

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