South Korea Food Regulatory Updates in Spotlights 2022

ChemLinked Lorraine T.S. Li compiled South Korea’s most significant regulation updates in 2022. The highlights include: inspection of foreign food facilities, Food Code updates, packing material recyclability, nutrient formula foods, and health-functional foods.

South Korea Restores On-site Inspection of Foreign Food Facility

After a two-year remote inspection, the Ministry of Food and Drugs Safety (MFDS) announced to restore on-site inspection on foreign food facilities in 2022.

The authority intends to inspect 490 foreign food facilities located in 35 countries. These facilities are designated to undergo on-site inspection for their products are likely to pose risks to humans or are the most consumed food products.

A remote inspection can be taken instead when it’s hard to conduct an on-site inspection due to the local epidemic prevention policy. Remote inspection includes document review and inspection through the electronic device “AR smart glasses”.

Get up to speed here.

South Korea Revises Food Code: MFDS Notification No. 2022-16

On February 21, 2022, MFDS issued several amendments to Food Code. The amendments mainly focus on the cheese definition and residual veterinary drug test method. Additionally, the authority newly established the specifications of krill oil to enhance food safety as the need to use krill oil in food supplements emerges.

Find all you need to know here.

South Korea Revises Packing Material Recyclability Rating Standard

On February 28, 2022, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) modified the Packing Material Recyclability Rating Standard to adjust the recyclability level of several packaging materials.

For composite material containers and trays that used to be evaluated as “good to recycle”, if the container or tray’s main body part is conjunct with metal or other materials other than synthetic, and these parts are inseparable, the composite material containers and trays will be evaluated as “difficult to recycle” under the updated regulation.

Composite material film and sheet that used to be evaluated as “good to recycle”, such as cooler bags for ice cream, are to be sorted as “difficult to recycle” if the aluminum used in the film or sheet is more than 50㎛.

Find out more here.

South Korea Revises Food Code: introducing Nutrient Formula Food for the Elderly and Food for Cancer Patients

On June 30, 2022, MFDS issued the latest version of Food Code (MFDS Notification No. 2022-48). The amendments are mainly related to the food raw material inventory, new food products for the elderly and cancer patients, and veterinary drug and pesticide residue limits, etc.

Check out the detailed standards and specifications here.

South Korea Revises Food Additive Code: MFDS Notification No. 2022-55

On August 10, 2022, MFDS issued the latest version of Food Additive Code, in which the food additives for manufacturing health supplements, amino acids applicable for “milk formulas, etc.”, and components of Steviol Glycoside are modified. The regulation came into effect along with its issuance. Imported food shipped after August 10, 2022, shall comply with the new regulation. Let’s take a look under the hood here.

South Korea Revises Health Functional Food Code: MFDS Notification No. 2022-69

On September 15, 2022, MFDS issued the latest version of Health Functional Food Code. The competent authority expanded the scope of raw materials for manufacturing protein products to all permitted food ingredients. Previously, only nine kinds of raw materials could be used. Read here to find out why. 

South Korea Details Requirements for Recycled Food Package Materials

South Korea established the legal ground to regulate the usage of recycled resources in manufacturing food packages on June 10, 2022. Soon after, on December 9, MFDS detailed the certificate requirements of recycled materials used for manufacturing food packages in the Enforcement Rule of Food Sanitation Act, which helps optimize the supervision scheme of recycled materials for food packages. What should enterprises do to apply for the certificate? This article sets you up for success.

South Korea Issues the Guideline on Dietary Supplements for Hair Health

On July 21, 2022, MFDS disclosed the Guideline of Function Evaluation for Health Functional Food (Hair Health Promotion). Health function for hair health is subject to new registration. With the increasing demand for products with efficacy for hair health, the Korean authority published the Guideline, aiming to help enterprises develop health functional food beneficial to hair. Check here for details.


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