Thailand Publishes New Regulation For Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) Labeling
SAFEGUARDS | Food NO. 112/16
The Thai Ministry of Public Health issued Notification No.374  on April 24, 2016 a new regulation regarding food nutrition labeling to provide guidance on energy values, and quantities of sugar, fat and sodium on the label of various foods with Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) for the benefit of consumers and to support preventive measures for nutritional problems.
The GDA is a guideline for labeling the total amount of energy and important nutrients (such as fat, sugars and sodium (or salt)) that may increase the risk of developing some diet-related diseases. GDA labeling can be used by consumers to plan a healthy balanced diet, and needs to be easy to understand. It also helps consumers to avoid over consumption.
Notification No. 374 of the Ministry of Public Health specifies that the following foods must declare the amount of energy, sugar, fat and sodium:
- Snack foods including fried or baked potato chips, fried or baked popcorns, rice crisps or extruded snacks, roasted or salt roasted or flavored peanuts, fried or baked or flavored seaweed, fried or baked or flavored fish snacks
Chocolate and similar products
Bakery products including crackers or biscuits, filling wafers, cookies, cakes and pies, and pastries (both with and without filling)
Semi-processed foods including noodles, a sheet of rice noodle (Guay-Jab), wheat noodles, rice vermicelli and mung bean vermicelli, Kao Tom (Boiled rice) and Joke (Porridge rice)
- Chilled and frozen ready to eat meals
For the above foods, the labeling should have a specific layout, for example, the label shall comply with either of the following formats:
- A box of nutritional facts briefly formatted to present and display only the total energy, total fat, protein, total carbohydrate, sugar, sodium and cholesterol. Plus, whether the food contains cholesterol amounting to more than 2 milligrams per serving
- A box indicating the full text of the nutritional facts
The food should also display the amount of energy value, sugar, fat and sodium Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) according to the notification as shown here below:
The first section displays “Energy value”, “Sugar”, “Fat” and “Sodium” in the same color as that of the line in the cylinder
The second section displays the level of energy value, sugar, fat and sodium per unit of the package, calculated from volume per consumption unit multiplied with the number of consumption units. Energy is indicated in kCal, Sugar in gram or g., Fat in gram or g., Sodium in milligram or mg.
The third section displays the amount of energy, sugar, fat and sodium as a percentage of the daily intake as follows:
Percentage of energy value based on 2,000 kCal daily intake per person
Percentage of sugar based on of 65 grams daily intake per person
Percentage of fat and sodium based on of 65 grams and 2,400 mg daily intake per person, respectively
The following text must also be displayed with prominent and readily legible letters
“Nutritional value per…” the blank shall display an amount of one packaging which is easily understood, such as per cup, packet, box or bag
“Should divide to eat … times” the blank shall display the number of portions when there is more than one serving in that packet
“* as a percentage of maximum daily intake” shall be inserted under the figures in each cylinder
Notification No. 374 will come into force 180 days after its publication in the Government Gazette on April 21, 2016. However, producers or importers of the foods mentioned are allowed to use the old labels but for no longer than one year after this Notification comes into force.
What do the changes mean?
Producers and importers of the foods mentioned will prepare GDA labeling to comply with Notification No.374 before the end of the transition period allowed to use stocks with the old label. For more information, or to discuss your testing, analysis and certification requirements, contact a food safety expert, such as SGS.
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