Transitioning Malaysian Food Labelling Standards to UK Regulations: A Comprehensive Guide
In the dynamic landscape of global trade, adherence to international food labelling standards is crucial for manufacturers aiming to broaden their market presence and ensure regulatory compliance. For Malaysian food producers eyeing the UK market, comprehending and aligning with UK food labelling regulations is imperative. Here’s a comprehensive guide to aid Malaysian manufacturers in transitioning their food labelling standards to meet UK regulations.
Understanding UK Food Labelling Regulations:
The United Kingdom upholds stringent regulations governing food labelling to safeguard consumer safety and foster transparency in the marketplace. Key regulations Malaysian manufacturers should acquaint themselves with include:
- Food Labelling Act: Mandates clear, accurate, and easily understandable labels for all food products sold in the UK.
- EU Food Information Regulation (EU FIC): Despite Brexit, the UK predominantly retains EU FIC regulations, encompassing allergen labelling, nutrition labelling, and ingredient listing.
- Allergen Labelling: Requires clear and prominent allergen information on labels, highlighting any of the 14 major allergens identified by the EU FIC.
- Ingredient Listing: Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight, with any allergens emphasized through font styles, colors, or separate allergen boxes.
- Quantitative Ingredient Declaration (QUID): Declaration of ingredient percentages is generally not required unless the ingredient is emphasized in the product name or promotion.
- Country of Origin: Certain products, such as meats, necessitate country of origin labelling to inform consumers about the product’s origin.
Transitioning to UK Standards:
- Review Existing Labels: Malaysian manufacturers should scrutinize current labels against UK regulations to pinpoint areas of non-compliance.
- Adjust Ingredient Lists: Ensure accurate ingredient listing, adhering to the UK’s requirement for descending order of weight. Obtain a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for precise percentage calculation, especially for highlighted ingredients like shrimp paste.
- Highlight Allergens: Emphasize allergens prominently on labels and explicitly mention any of the EU’s identified major allergens present in the product.
- Consider Nutrition Labelling: While not mandatory for all products, voluntary inclusion of nutrition information should adhere to UK regulations for format and presentation.
- Address Country-Specific Requirements: Familiarize yourself with any UK-specific labelling requirements, such as country of origin labelling for certain products.
- Seek Professional Guidance: Consult regulatory experts or local representatives proficient in UK food labelling regulations to ensure full compliance.
By aligning with UK food labelling standards, Malaysian manufacturers can bolster consumer trust, access new markets, and demonstrate a commitment to quality and transparency. Compliance not only facilitates market entry but also fosters long-term success in the competitive UK food industry.
This is what typical Malaysian Manufacturer’s food ingredients:
INGREDIENTS: Chilli, Sugar, Tomatoes, Onion, Shrimp Paste, Fruit Acids and Permitted Food Seasonings.
UK standard ingredient label version:
INGREDIENTS: Chilli, Sugar, Tomatoes, Onion, Shrimp Paste (Crustaceans), Fruit Acids, Permitted Food Seasonings.
In the UK, it’s not typically required to list the percentages of ingredients on food labels unless they’re highlighted as part of a specific marketing claim (e.g., “High in protein”). However, if you’d like to include percentages for informational purposes, you can estimate them based on the recipe formulation. For example:
INGREDIENTS (Approximate Percentages):
Chilli: xx% Sugar: xx% Tomatoes: xx% Onion: xx% Shrimp Paste (Crustaceans): xx% Fruit Acids: xx% Permitted Food Seasonings: xx%
This addition helps illustrate the transition from the Malaysian ingredient list to the UK standard version, along with providing guidance on including ingredient percentages if desired.