Issue 41

China tightens up infant formula requirements

“We’re ready to meet them,” says Arla Foods Ingredients”

Whey proteins from Arla Foods Ingredients have all the right credentials for satisfying China’s new policy to ensure the quality and safety of infant formula”, says paediatrics business development manager Jakob Madsen Pedersen.Comprehensive quality assurance and product documentation make Arla Foods Ingredients a dependable choice for infant formula manufacturers.

Boost for consumer confidence
Developed by nine Chinese ministries and commissions, the policy is an effort to boost consumer confidence in the infant formula products sold in the country. Among the stipulations, the policy warns domestic infant formula manufacturers of closure if their factories fail to make the grade. Traceability is a must, with thorough testing of all milk ingredients a requirement.The intention is to raise the standard for infant formula to the level of pharmaceutical products. For this reason, the policy suggests that infant formula be sold through pharmacies and other outlets qualified to sell medicines. Financial incentives are available to manufacturers willing to invest in continuous improvements.

Registered importers only
Companies importing into China must fulfil the same requirements as domestic producers, labelling their products with the correct Chinese labels prior to entry. Only companies registered with the Chinese authorities will be allowed to bring their products into the country.“We are in a strong position to help our customers meet these quality demands. As a cooperative company, we have good control over our value chain. Particularly our whey processing plant in Denmark lives up to all the traceability requirements set out in the policy document,” Jakob Madsen Pedersen states.

Maximum limit on ash content
Current discussions could also lead to a maximum 5.5% limit on the natural ash content of milk ingredients. Should this become law, Arla Foods Ingredients can support customers with its whey protein concentrate Nutrilac® WPC 80, which contains just 3.3% ash.“The lower the natural mineral content, the easier it is to manage overall mineral content when adding a mineral pre-mix to infant formula products,” Pedersen explains.

Growing sales potential
China’s focus on infant formula quality comes at a time when milk imports are rapidly on the rise in the face of growing domestic demand. Infant formula manufacturers can look forward to even greater sales potential in the future following the recent relaxation of the Chinese one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children if at least one parent is an only child.