From next year, products would no longer be allowed to be labeled “chocolate” if more than 5 percent of their weight consists of vegetable fats, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday.
The agency said that it has promulgated amendments to the Regulations Governing the Product Names and Labeling of Chocolate (巧克力之品名及標示規定), which include three main revisions affecting manufacturers.
“Products that contain fillings” could only be labeled “chocolate” if they contain no less than 25 percent cocoa, and they are required to have the terms “with filling,” “processed,” or another equivalent added to the product name.
Semi-solid or fluid products, such as spreads or syrup, would be required to contain at least 5 percent cocoa solids or 2 percent cocoa butter to be labeled “chocolate.”
The “cocoa butter substitute” labeling would be removed and if a product contains more than 5 percent vegetable fats by weight it could not be labeled as “chocolate.”
Once the amended regulations are implemented next year, firms breaching the regulations would face being fined between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million (US$1,059 and US$105,936) for incorrect labeling, and between NT$40,000 and NT$4 million for false labeling.
FDA Food Safety Division Director Lee Wan-chen (李婉媜) said that current regulations only stipulate the minimum amount of cocoa butter and milk solids that products include to be labeled as “black chocolate,” “milk chocolate” or “white chocolate.”
However, products with fillings and semi-solid and fluid products, which account for the majority of products currently labeled as “chocolate,” are not included in the existing regulations.
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