The Malaysian Ministry of Health has issued revised guidelines for Food (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020, originally slated to take effect on July 22, 2022. However, the implementation date has been postponed to January 1, 2024. Below are some of the noteworthy amendments to general labeling claims.
Regulation 18(7) Organic
No label shall describe the food using the word “organic”, “biological”, “ecological”, “biodynamic” or any other words that carry similar meaning unless it conforms to the requirements established or recognized by the Food Safety and Quality Division.
Read more at: Garis Panduan Skim Pensijilan Makanan Organik
Regulation 18(10) Wholegrain and wholemeal
No label describing any food shall include the word “wholegrain” or “wholemeal” unless the food contains –
- 100% of wholegrain or wholemeal for wheat flour, rice flour, rice or grains;
- 60% or more of wholegrain or wholemeal for bread; and
- 25% or 8g or more of wholegrain or wholemeal per serving for other products.
When the above criteria are fulfilled, the word “wholegrain” or “wholemeal” and the percentage shall be written in the label in not less than 4-point lettering.
Remark: “Wholegrain” or “wholemeal” in these subregulation refer to cereal grains that consist of intact, ground, milled, cracked or flaked kernel after the removal of the inedible parts.
Regulation 18A (1A) Non-addition of Sugar
Claims which highlight the non-addition of sugar may be included in the label if –
- No sugar of any type has been added to the food;
- The food contains no ingredients that contain sugar as an ingredient;
- The food contains no ingredients containing sugar that substitute for added sugar; and
- The sugar content of the food itself has not been increased above the amount contributed by the ingredients by some other means.
When the non-addition of sugar claim is made, the naturally occurring sugar content in the food must be declared in 100g /100ml and per serving.
Remark: “Sugar” in this regulation included all monosaccharide and disaccharides added.
Regulation 18A (2A) Non-addition of Sodium Salt
Claims which highlight the non-addition of sodium salts, including “no added salt” may be included in the label if –
- The food contains no added sodium salts;
- The food contains no ingredients that contain added sodium salts; and
- The ingredients that contain sodium salt that functions as a substitute for added salts are not used in the food.
With the new regulations coming into effect on January 1, 2024, the food industry will have an 8-month grace period to make any necessary changes to product labeling and ensure compliance with the latest requirements.
Ministry of Health. (2022). of Food (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.