Business Times

New food regulations permit added substances to bread

Other than wheat flour, earlier nothing could be added to make bread, but regulations have now been introduced to allow the addition of powders like gram, rice, etc. However to include the name of the added substance, the added substance should contain more than 10% in the bread. Example: to call a loaf of bread as rice bread, there has to be more than 10% of rice flour in that loaf.

This was revealed by Dr H.D.B. Herath, Consultant Community Physician and Deputy Director, Environmental and Occupational Health at the Health Ministry at an awareness seminar on the recently approved series of new food regulations to the Food Act of Sri Lanka, held this week in Colombo.
It was organized by the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the stakeholders present included those in production, procurement, marketing, distribution, importing, printing, manufacture of packaging material, advertising, etc.

Dr Herath said that there are also regulations on colouring structure of food products and said that there would be amendments to existing regulations on the shelf life of food products to prevent the dumping. He said that amendments to regulations on food packaging material also is being considered since, other than plastics, there could also be other traditional, natural material that are used in packaging of food products.

Dr (Ms) N Satharasinghe, Director, Product Certification, Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI), speaking on the role of the SLSI on quality Assurance on Food Products said that they are more than a local standards body, SLSI is accredited to certify intenational standards such as ISO, acting as national audit. She said that in formulating national standard by a formulation committee, they need to follow international procedure.

Dr Satharasinghe said that the development of the standards is carried out by the stakeholders that form the Draft Standards Development Committee. These draft standards are put before the public for comments through the newspapers. She said that to get the public more and more involved in these activities, they are also developing a website. The public views are then fed back to the Working Committee to fine tune the draft.

Dr Sanath Mahawithanage, Manager, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs, Fonterra Brands Lanka (Pvt), Ltd representing the private sector point of view said that all standards on food products are mandatory. He said otherwise their standards are voluntary. He said that there are other standards that are made compulsory by the Consumer Affairs Authority.

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