Taiwan to set limits for food contaminant glycidol

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/11/21
By: Chang Ming-hsuan and Evelyn Kao

Taipei, Nov. 21 (CNA) The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to establish maximum allowable levels for glycidol, which is classified as probably carcinogenic to humans, in foodstuffs, with the new measure expected to be introduced in the first half of 2020, an FDA official said Thursday.

The FDA's decision came after Control Yuan members Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) and Tsai Chung-yi (蔡崇義) urged the government to set limits to the amount of glycidyl (glycidol) fatty acid esters (GEs) from vegetable oils in food. Their call was made in light of the fact that glycidol has been detected in edible oils and fats as well as in foods made using them, such as margarine, baked goods and confectionery products and spreads (chocolate spreads and peanut butter).

In February 2018, the European Union set maximum levels for GEs at up to 1000 µg/kg in specified foods, including vegetable fats and oils.

Regulations regarding chocolate label management published by the FDA under the Ministry of Health and Welfare in June 2016 required only that chocolate contain a certain amount of cocoa, to be called chocolate. However, the regulations do not apply to the majority of chocolate products containing filling or brown chocolate manufactured using large amounts of coconut oil, Tien and Tsai said.

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