Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MOH Forbids the Addition of Bovine Colostrum in Infant Formula

On 16 April the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a ruling to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) that bovine colostrum may not be added to 1st/2nd/3rd stage infant formula. This could have a significant impact on the wider colostrum category, which includes a range of formula with colostrum (for babies/infants/adults) along with colostrum powder and colostrum supplements, namely tablets and capsules, according to CCM International’s May issue of Dairy Products China News

By way of illustration, the portfolio of leading player Biolife in China comprises:
Pure colostrum powder – for instance Biolife advertises that these products (notably established brands such as Natrapure and Peizhi/Healtheries and the newer Keymore Bovine Pure Colostrum Powder) exclude any sugar or chemical preservatives and have IgG levels exceeding 10% (10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 35%), in line with RHB602-2005. These products can be sold in Chinese market in the future. Interestingly these products are often targeted at being given to babies, especially when many parents misunderstand them to be formula powders

Colostrum milk powder, with IgG levels under 10% (Biolife’s “golden pack” ranges under its Natrapure and Peizhi/ Healtheries brands are just 3%). These are not classified as bovine colostrum powder according to RHB602—2005, but simply as colostrum-enriched foods. It appears from the MOH’s ruling that these products can no longer be advertised as colostrum milk powder (although this point is not clear and needs further explanation from MOH)

Colostrum tablets and capsules, which Biolife advertises as functional foods (of which there are 24 approved categories locally); these clearly have IgG levels which are higher than colostrum milk powder and are mainly consumed by adults, not least because in China, many parents won’t let their children eat functional foods. However Biolife recommends its colostrum tablets and capsules for babies which do not chew their food sufficiently!

The statement from the MOH includes 3 items:
Firstly, that the production of bovine colostrum powder should be in accordance with industry standard (RHB602 -2005):so before the launch of the national standard, this industry standard will effectively be treated as such … …

Secondly, if the bovine colostrum is added to ordinary foods, it should meet the related food standards … ….

Thirdly, that formula may not include any dairy ingredients which use bovine colostrum as raw material. This requirement will be effective from 1 September, although products imported or produced before this date may still be sold up to their expiry dates … …

At present, there is no national standard for bovine colostrum products, only the industry standard RHB602-2005 for bovine colostrum powder. This was set up by the China Dairy Industry Association in 2005 with input from Biolife − there is no national standard for bovine colostrum. If a product does not meet the requirements of RHB602-2005, it is considered a functional food. According to RHB602 – 2005, pure colostrum powders should contain at least 40% protein and 10% IgG. So in theory, if the MOH is interpreted literally, many companies have to change their promotional strategies.

The ruling has been explained by some in terms of the minor local output of bovine colostrum, its variable quality and the difficulty involved in its industrial production, with further suggestions that it is unproven for use in formula.

In fact the ruling of the MOH is in accordance with the National Food Safety Standard for Raw Milk, which was issued on 26 March 2010 and implemented on 1 June 2010. According to that standard, bovine colostrum (from the first 7 days) may not be used as raw milk. This led to a lack of clarity and in line with this change, the Guangdong office of GAQSIQ stopped imports of formula powders with colostrum in August 2011 while it awaited clarification of the national standard. Subsequently a distributor from Guangdong made complaints to the press in March 2012 that its residual stocks of such products hadn’t sold out, and this story was widely reported, compelling the MOH to make a response.

It seems that the market for formula products including bovine colostrum – which has grown rapidly and is estimated at about USD317.0 million (RMB2 billion) currently – will be impacted by the official reply.

Source: Dairy Products China News  1205

Content of Dairy Products China News 1205:
Key Processors’ Strong Performance in 2011
Key Processors’ Increasing Investment in Marketing in 2011
Domestic Dairy Industry Hurt by Industrial Grade Gelatin?
Interface Protein Cuts Cheese Prices
Infant Formula Processors’ Results Signal Mixed Fortunes
New Standard for Food Fortification Ingredients
MOH Forbids the Addition of Bovine Colostrum in Infant Formula
Nestlé + Wyeth: A New Giant in China’s Infant Formula Market
Bright Dairy Builds Up its Yoghurt Business in Southern China
Henan Government Promotes Local Milk Production
Greatview Packaging Enjoys Good Development in 2011
Taizinai Group Launches New Products

Dairy Products China News, a monthly publication issued by CCM International on the 30th/31st of every month, brings you the latest information on new market dynamics, company dynamics, new dairy products and consumption trend, new legislations and policies and raw milk supply dynamics that are shaping the market.

About CCM International
CCM International is dedicated to market research in China, Asia-Pacific Rim and global market. With a staff of more than 150 dedicated highly-educated professionals. CCM International offers Market Data, Analysis, Reports, Newsletters, Buyer-Trader Information, Import/Export Analysis all through its new proprietary product ValoTracer.
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