Taipei-The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) issued a statement on Tuesday reminding vendors who want to label their products as health foods that the limit on free sugar content in registered health food products is 25 grams.
To promote a reduction of sugar contained in health foods, the ministry amended its "Health Food Registration Review Guideline" on July 17 to stipulate that no more than 25 grams of free sugars can be added to products labeled as "health foods."
Furthermore, health food products containing more than 17 grams of free sugars must include a health warning label that discloses the amount of added free sugars in the product based on the product's recommended serving size and urges consumers to limit their energy intake.
This sugar-specific amendment to the guidelines was made with the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommendation of daily energy intake in mind.
According to the WHO, an adult should consume approximately 2000 kcal per day, with the amount of free sugar intake equal to less than 10 percent of total daily energy intake, which is equivalent to 50 grams.
The MOHW decided in its new regulations, therefore, to limit the amount of free sugars in a single health food product to no more than 25 grams, or 50 percent of the daily sugar limit.
The MOHW has approved roughly 400 products as health food products to date, none of which contain more than 25 grams of free sugars.
According to Chou Pei-ju (???), a section chief at the MOHW's Food and Drug Administration, the ministry has never clearly defined the oil, salt, and sugar content limits for registered health food products.
These products are required to be low in oil, salt, and sugar, but given that two-thirds of health products are supplements sold in capsule form, there has not been a need for clearly defined parameters for these ingredients, Chou said.
In recent years, the MOHW has focused its attention on health beverages, such as yogurts and vinegars, which are low in oil and salt but contain sugar to add flavor to the drink, Chou said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel