The problem of food manufacturers' excessive production of food essences needs to be solved urgently
Recently, industry sources have reported that a food company that produces sauces in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, exceeds the scope of production permits and illegally produces food essences. It is reported that this illegal phenomenon in the food industry has occurred in many places across the country and has existed for several years.
People in the industry believe that in order to safeguard the seriousness of food laws and regulations and a fair competition order and safeguard food safety, the relevant departments should strictly investigate and deal with the illegal activities of food companies that exceed the scope of production.
Chairman of the China Spice and Fragrance Cosmetics Industry Association who is concerned about food safety and has been engaged in the management of food additives for many years, and Shen Hui, secretary general of the Kunshan Fragrance Cosmetics Industry Association of Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province, believes that cracking out of ultra-wide production in law enforcement agencies At the same time, the food companies, food flavor companies, and regulatory agencies should also carefully analyze the causes of the problems and formulate more practical, effective and scientific production licenses as soon as possible.
Difference between food seasoning and food flavor production license
According to industry insiders, a food flavoring business company in Kunshan has commissioned a Suzhou condiment food production company to process food flavors (meat paste) on behalf of the company. Both parties have entrusted processing of the filing contract. According to the regulations of the production license, the entrusted company must operate legally, and the entrusted enterprise must have the corresponding production license qualification for such products before it can produce the corresponding types of products. Obviously, it is an illegal act for the above-mentioned seasoning production enterprises to replace the processed food essences with their production licenses. Both parties have unregistered contracts, which are not regulated. At the same time, a few companies believe that the production process of flavorings and flavors is similar, and that as long as the company has one of its product manufacturing licenses, it can produce another product. For the legitimacy of such phenomena, some local authorities are not aware of it, and this has created confusion in law enforcement.
According to analysis by Secretary-General Shen Hui of the Kunshan Fragrance Association, some companies are not very clear about how to implement licensing methods for flavoring and seasonings. Of course, there are also a few companies that intentionally used flavour as a seasoning to apply for a production license to reduce the cost of licensing.
In fact, seasonings and edible flavors are two completely different products. The licensing methods of the two are obviously different and can be distinguished from the following four aspects:
1. Differences in the definition and application of seasonings and food flavors
The definition of seasoning: It is used in food cooking and food processing to reconcile the taste, and has the functions of removing phlegm, removing phlegm, solving tiredness, increasing fragrance, increasing freshness, and the like.
Definition of food essence: Concentrated preparations (except those that produce only salty, sweet, or sour taste) used to act as a fragrance, may or may not contain edible flavoring accessories.
Obviously, seasonings are different from food flavors, and food essences are concentrated preparations. They are special food additives used in food. They are usually not directly faced by consumers. They are processed foods such as instant noodles, ham sausages, flavored sauces, and puffed foods. Basically use food flavors. Seasonings, like instant noodles, ham sausages, flavor sauces, and puffed foods, are consumed as end products.
2. The difference between production licenses and logos
According to Secretary-General Shen Hui of the Kunshan Fragrance Association, there are obvious differences between the seasonings and food flavors in the production license review basis, logos, implementation standards, license number indication methods, and product uses.
1) The production license audit basis is different. Seasonings are subject to licensing inspections in accordance with the "General Rules for the Examination of Food Production Licenses" and "Detailed Rules for the Examination of Production Licenses for Seasoning Products". The food essence was reviewed in accordance with the “General Rules for the Examination of Food Additive Production Licenses” and there were no detailed rules. However, the license review process and content of the two are basically the same, that is, the written material audit → on-site audit → product sampling, sample inspection → after passing the certification.
2) Different product identification requirements. Seasonings shall be labelled in accordance with GB 7718. There shall be a clear range and amount of use for food additives, and specific food additive names shall be indicated in the ingredient list. The food flavor label should meet the QB/T4003 standard, that is, in addition to sweeteners, colorants, and caffeine, the ingredients must be labeled with a specific product name. Other materials can only be labeled as “food flavors and edible flavor supplements,” and they can be used in food flavors. A variety of food additives, carriers, or solvents need not be labeled with specific names. For food additives that are used in fragrances, the amount and scope of food additives must be marked on the food packaging.
3) The implementation of standards is different. Seasonings can also implement corporate standards in addition to national, industry, or local standards. Food flavors can only be implemented by national, industry, or national standards, and it is not allowed to establish corporate standards.
4) The production license number and the validity period are different. The seasoning production license number begins with "QS" and is valid for 3 years. The food flavour production license number is represented by the “short name of each province +XK” and is valid for 5 years.
5) Different functions are used. Seasonings can be eaten directly, without limiting the scope and amount of use. Food flavors are commonly used in the food processing industry. They do not limit the scope and amount of use, but they cannot be consumed directly. However, food flavor is a concentrated preparation, strong aroma, such as excessive use, but make the food produce bad flavor, is a self-limited food additives.
3. Fundamental differences in production license review
Certain seasonings and food flavors are not significantly different in appearance and processing techniques and should be differentiated from product ingredients. In addition to pure spice seasoning, other compound seasonings are usually added with some food additives (such as pigments, water-retaining agents, emulsifiers, sweeteners, antioxidants, etc.), but their use scope and dosage are strictly limited. The "Food flavor" (QB/T1505-2007) has various types of food additives in the flavor of the application but the amount and scope, almost all food additives can be used in food flavor, which is the essence of food flavoring and flavoring the difference.
More scientific production licensing measures urgently needed
There are similarities in the production license examination mode of seasonings and food flavors, but the seasonings have more specific examination details. There are still many differences between the two, and they cannot be confused.
Shen Hui, secretary-general of the Kunshan Fragrance Association, believes that the problem of the production of edible essences by the seasoning food enterprises in the super-permissive range must be resolved as soon as possible. For such illegal activities, on the one hand, law enforcement agencies should step up efforts to crack down. At the same time, the supervision department should fully investigate the industry situation, listen to the company's reasonable demands, and introduce more scientific and reasonable production license measures as soon as possible.
Shen Hui believes that for production enterprises that have both seasonings and edible flavors, the regulatory authorities can allow enterprises to apply for the production licenses for these two products at the same time, and accept and merge inspections and sub-development certificates in a unified way to reduce the number of enterprises and supervisory units. Waste of human and financial resources. Secondly, the supervisory authority must fully understand the production company's product ingredients, uses, dosages, processes, and regulations when it carries out production licenses, correctly distinguishes seasonings and edible essences, and makes the declared product category “a name de facto”. Third, when an enterprise conducts a food commission processing record, the supervisory authority should verify whether the entrusted party has a production license for such a product. Only when it has the corresponding production qualifications can it be filed for subsequent monitoring. Fourth, the validity period of the seasoning production license is currently 3 years. It is recommended that the period of validity of the seasoning production license be the same as that of the food additive and be changed to 5 years.