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General standard for the labeling of prepackaged foods

www.wines-info.com by 30/08/2006  


Issued on May 9, 2005


Enforced on Octorber 1, 2005


National Standard of the People's Republic of China

GB 7718-2004

Replace GB 7718-1994

Issued by General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China and Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China
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Foreword


This standard is mandatory except for Section 5.3 which is recommendatory.

 

This standard is not equivalent to the CAC Codex General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods (CODEX STAN 1-1985 (Rev. 1-1991, 1999); it also refers to the U. S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 101 "Food Labeling".

 

This standard replaces GB 7718-1994 "General standard for the labeling of foods".

 

In comparison with GB 7718-1994, the major changes of this standard are as follows:

 

The name of this standard has been changed to "General standard for the labeling of prepackaged foods";

 

Section 4 "Basic principles" and Section 8 "Basic requirements" of GB 7718-1994 have been in­corporated to become Section 4 "Basic requirements" of this standard with amendments and sup­plementary provisions;

 

"The minimum size of words, symbols and numerals in the mandatory labeling information shall not be less than 1.8 mm in height" has been added (see 4.8);

 

"The class names which may be used in the list of ingredients" has been added (see 5. 1.2.2.2);

 

"The labeling requirement for the unit of measurement for net contents" (see 5. 1.4.3) and "the minimum font size requirement in net contents declaration" (see 5.1.4.4) have been added;

 

"The labeling requirement for the name and address of the group company, branch office, produc­tion facility or contract packer of the prepackaged foods" has been added (see 5. 1.5);

 

"The foods which can be exempted from the labeling of date of minimum durability" has been added (see 5.2.1);

 

"The method of calculation for the largest surface area of a package or container" has been added (see Appendix A).

 

GB 7718-2004 is one of the series of national standard on food labeling. Other related national standards include:

 

GB 10344--1989 "Standard for the labeling of alcoholic beverage".

 

GB 13432---2004 "General standard for the labeling of prepackaged foods for special dietary uses" (replacing GB 13432---1992).

 

Appendix A of this standard is a normative appendix.

 

This standard is proposed and interpreted by the China National Food Industry Standardization Committee of Technique.

 

This standard was drafted by the drafting group organized by the China National Food Industry Standardization Committee of Technique.

 

The main drafters of this standard are Hao Yu, Wang Yanjing, Wang Meiling, Bai Demei, Tian Qijing, Tian Mingfu, Xu Hongmin, Yang Guizhi, Yang Xiaoming, Zhang Lijun, Chen Yaojun, Zheng Xin, Zhao Xuejun, Dong Hongyan, Ji Chao, Jian Huiwei, and Lin Linan.

 

This standard replaces all previous standards, those issued editions are:

---GB 7718---1987, GB 7718---1994.

General standard for the labeling of prepackaged foods

1 Scope

 

This standard prescribes the followings:

basic requirements for the labeling of prepackaged foods (see Section 4);

mandatory labeling information I the labeling of prepackaged food (see 5.1);

exemptions from mandatory requirements for the labeling of prepackaged foods (see 5.2);

non-mandatory labeling information in the labeling of prepackaged foods (see 5.3).

 

This standard applies to the labeling of all prepackaged food to be offered as such to consumers. 

 

2 Normative references

 

The following normative documents contains provisions which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of this standard. For dated references amendments  to, or revisions of, any of these publications do not apply. However parties to agreements bases on this standard are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent edition of the normative documents indicated below. For undated references, the latest edition of the normative document referred to Applies.

 

GB 2760 Hygienic standard for the use of food additives

 

GB/T 12493 Classification and numbering of food additives

 

GB 13432 -- 2004 General standard for the labeling of prepackaged foods for special dietary uses

 

3 Terms and definitions

 

The following terminologies and definitions shall apply in this standard:

 

3.1

prepackages foods

Prepackaged foods means foods prepackaged or made up in advance with a measured quantity in a container ready for direct offer to the consumer.

 

3.2

food label


Food label means any words, pictorial, mark or other descriptive matter on the packaging or the container of food.

 

3.3

ingredient


Ingredient means any substance, including a food additive, used in the manufacture or preparation of a food and present in the final product although possibly in a modified form.

 

3.4

processing aid


Processing aid means a substance or material (not including apparatus or utensils), and not consumed as a food ingredient by itself, and only used to fulfill a certain technological purpose during processing or treatment.

 

3.5

date of manufacture


Date of manufacture means the date on which the food becomes the final product.

 

3.6

date of packaging


Date of packaging means the date on which the food is placed into the packaging or container in which it will be ultimately sold.

 

3.7

date of minimum durability (best before)


Date of minimum durability (best before) means the date which signifies the end of the period under any stated storage conditions on the label of the prepackaged food during which the quality of the product will be maintained and the product will remain fully marketable and retain any specific qualities for which tacit or express claims have been made. However, beyond the date the food may still be consumed within a certain period of time.

 

3.8

use-by date (recommended last consumption date; expiration date)


Use-by date (recommended last consumption date; expiration date) means the date which signifies the end of the estimated period under any stated storage conditions on the label of the prepackaged food, after which the product probably will not have the quality attributes normally expected by the consumers and will not be regarded as suitable for consumption.

 

3.9

principal display panel


Principal display panel means the part of the label which is most likely to be seen by the consumer under normal retail display conditions.

 

4        Basic requirements

  

4.1  The labeling of prepackaged food shall be in accordance with the requirements of the State laws and regulations, and the related product standards.

 

4.2 The labeling of prepackaged food shall be clear, prominent, indelible and readily legible by the consumer under normal conditions of purchase.

 

4.3  The labeling of prepackaged food shall be easily understood by the public, precise and supported by scientific evidence. Any indications, which are superstitious, pornographic, debasing other products, or unscientific, shall be prohibited.

 

4.4  The labeling of prepackaged food shall not be described or presented in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive; or is likely to create an erroneous impression by means of different word size or color contrast.

 

4.5  The labeling of prepackaged food shall not be described or presented by words, pictorial or other devices which refer to or are suggestive either directly or indirectly, of any other product with which such food or its certain property might be confused.

 

4.6  Labels in prepackaged foods shall be applied in such a manner that they cannot become separated from the container.

 

4.7  The words used on the label of the prepackaged food shall be in normal Chinese characters, but does not include registered trademark.

 

4.7.1      In addition to Chinese characters, the Chinese pinyin and/or languages of minority ethnic groups may also be used on the label of prepackaged food, but the size of words shall not be larger than the corresponding Chinese characters.

 

4.7.2      In addition to Chinese characters, foreign languages may also be used corresponding to the Chinese characters (except the name and address of the manufacturer of the imported food; the name and address of the overseas distributor; and website address). The foreign letters shall not be larger than the corresponding  Chinese characters (except for overseas registered trademarks).

 

4.8  Where the largest surfaces area of a package (container) is more than 20 cm2, the minimum size of the words, symbols and numerals in the mandatory labeling information shall not be less than 1.8 mm in height.

 

4.9  Where trough an outer wrapper, the whole or part of the mandatory labeling information can be clearly distinguished in the inner package (or container), the same labeling information may not   be repeated on the outer wrapper.

 

4.9  Where the inner package (container) is covered by an outer wrapper for direct delivery to consumers, the mandatory labeling information may only be indicated on the outer wrapper.

 

5        Labeling information

 

5.1   Mandatory labeling information

 

5.1.1        The name of the food

 

5.1.1.1  The specific name of the food shall be presented in the prominent place of the label, and shall clearly indicate the true nature of the food.

 

5.1.1.1.1        Where a name or several names have been established in respect of a certain food under a national or trade standard, one of these names or an equivalent name shall be selected for use.

5.1.1.1.2        In  the absence of any such name either common or usual name which is not misleading or confusing to the consumer shall be used.

 

5.1.1.2  A "coined", "fanciful", "transliterated", "brand" name, "folk" name of "trade mark" may be used, provided it accompanies one of the names provided in Section 5.1.1.1.

 

5.1.1.2.1        When a "coined", "fanciful", "transliterated", "brand" name, "folk" name of "trade mark" contains misleading words or terminologies, a specific name which indicates the true nature of the food in the same word size, shall be used in close proximity to this name.

5.1.1.2.2        When a specific name, which indicates the true nature of the food is misleading as to the nature of the food are to the different siz3 of the words, the same word size shall also be use to indicate the specific name, for example, juice and "drink" in "juice drink", and "chocolate" and "cookies" in "chocolate cookies" shall all be marked using the same word size.

5.1.1.3  There shall appear on the label either before or after the name of the food, such additional words or phrases as necessary to avoid misleading or confusing the consumer in regard to the true nature, physical condition of the food, or method of preparation of the food; for example dried, concentrated, reconstituted, smoked, fried, powdery, granular.

 

5.1.2        List of ingredients

 

5.1.2.1  Except for single ingredient foods, a list of ingredients of the prepackaged food shall be declared on the label.

 

5.1.2.1.1        The list of ingredients shall bear the title of "Ingredients" or "List of ingredients".

 

5.1.2.1.2        All ingredients shall be listed in descending order of their weights added in the process of manufacture of preparation of the food; those ingredients constituting less than 2% of the food may not be listed in descending order.

 

5.1.2.1.3        Where an ingredient is itself the product of two or more ingredients, such a compound ingredient may be declared, as  such, in the list of ingredients, provided that it is immediately accompanied by a list, in brackets, of its primary ingredients in descending order of proportion. Where a compound ingredient (for which a name has been established in a national or trade standard) constitutes less than 25% of the food, its primary ingredients, other than food additives which serve a technological function in the finished product, need not be declared.

 

5.1.2.1.4        Water added during preparation or processing of the food shall be declared in the list of ingredients. Water or other volatile ingredients evaporated in the course of manufacture need not be declared.

 

5.1.2.1.5        The edible package shall also be declared in the list of ingredients, for example, edible capsule, edible paper of candies.

 

5.1.2.2  A specific name shall be used of ingredients in accordance with Section 5.1.1 except for the following situations:

 

5.1.2.2.1        The specific names of sweeteners, preservatives and colorants shall be declared whereas other food additives may be declared in specific names or in class names in accordance with GB 2760. when two or more colorants are used in a food, their class name may be declared, followed by, in brackets, the number as stipulated under GB/T 12493, for example: where tumeric yellow, coreopsis yellow extract, allura red AC, Rosa laevigata michx brown, and roselle red (Hibiscetin) are added into a certain food, the may be declared as: "Colorants (102, 113, 012, 131, 125)".

 

5.1.2.2.2        The following ingredients may be declared in accordance with the class names as stated in Table 1:


                                 Table 1

            Ingredients                                 Class names
 
vegetable oils or refined             oil together with either the term
vegetable oils, other than            "vegetable", or "refined", qualified
olive oil                                     by the term "hydrogenated" or "
                                                 partially-hydrogenated", as
                                                 appropriate


starches,other than                     "starch"
chemically modified starches


all spices and spice extracts       "spice", "spices", or "mixed
not exceeding 2% by weight        spices", as appropriate
either singly or in combination
in the food

all types of gum preparations      "gum base"
used in the manufacture of gum
base for chewing gum


all preserved fruits not                 "preserved fruit"
exceeding 10% of the weight
of the food

 

5.1.2.3  If the raw materials used in the preparation process are converted into other ingredients (refers to the fermented products such as wine, soy sauce, vinegar), the "raw materials" or "raw materials and supplementary materials" may be used to substitute "ingredients" and "list of ingredients", and the various raw materials, supplementary materials, and food additives shall be listed in accordance with Section 5.1.2.1.2.

 

5.1.2.4  The processing aids used in preparation and processing of the foods need not be indicated in the list of ingredients.

 

5.1.3        Quantitative labeling or the ingredients.

 

5.1.3.1  Where the labeling of a food places special emphasis on the presence of one or more valuable and/or characterizing ingredients; the percentage of the emphasized ingredients added at the time of manufacture shall be declared.

 

5.1.3.2  A reference in the name of a food to a particular ingredient shall not of itself constitute the placing of special emphasis. A reference in the labeling of a food to an ingredient used in a small quantity and only for flavoring purpose shall not of itself constitute the placing of special emphasis.

 

5.1.4        Net contents and drained weight.

 

5.1.4.1  The net contents declaration shall be expressed using net content, numerals and the official unit of measurement, for example "Net Content 450 g".

 

5.1.4.2  The net contents of prepackaged food shall be declared in accordance with the official unit of measurement, in the following manner:

 

a)      For liquid foods, by volume -- L (l) or mL (ml);

b)      For solid foods, by weight -- g or kg;

c)      For semi-solid or viscous foods, either by weight or volume.

 

5.1.4.3  The unit of measurement for net contents shall be declared in accordance with Table 2:


                               Table 2

Measurement             Range of net          Unit of measurement
method                      content Q


Volume                  Q<  1 000 mL           mL (ml)
                              Q>=1 000 mL           L  (l)


Weight                    Q<  1 000 g             g
                               Q>=1 000 g             kg

5.1.4.4  The minimum font size of net contents declaration shall be in accordance with Table 3:


                                           Table 3

Range of net content Q             Minimum height of font (mm)


5 ml < Q < = 50 ml                             2
5 g  < Q < = 50 g


50 mL< Q < = 200 mL                        3

200 mL < Q < = 1 L
200 g  < Q < = 1 kg                             4

Q > 1 kg                                              6
Q > 1 L

 

5.1.4.5  The net contents and the name of the food shall be presented in the same display panel of the package (container).

 

5.1.4.6  In the case o a solid food packed in a liquid medium (for example canned pear in syrup), in addition to the declaration of net contents, the drained (solid) contents shall also be declared, in weight or percentage.

 

Example: Canned pear in syrup

   Net Content: 425 g

   Drained content (solid content or pear slices may be declared): not less than 255 g (or not less than 60%)

 

5.1.4.7  For individually wrapped and identical prepackaged food units contained in the same large prepackage, in addition to the declaration of net content, the number of individual food units shall also be declared, except for those small wrappings packed in large package not for sale as individual units, for example candies.

 

5.1.5        Name and address of the manufacturer and distributor

 

5.1.5.1  The registered name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor shall be declare, whereas in the following circumstances, the labeling shall be made according to the following requirement:

 

5.1.5.1.1        Any group company or its branch office (subsidiary) which by law bears independent statutory responsibilities shall have their respective name  and address declared separately.

 

5.1.5.1.2        Any branch office (subsidiary) or production facility of a group company which by law does not bear independent statutory responsibilities may  have the names and addresses of the group company and its branch office (production facility) declared; or may only have the name and address of the group company declared.

 

5.1.5.1.3        In the case of contract packer authorized to produce the prepackaged food but is not responsible for the sale and marketing of the product, the name and address of the company that authorizes the contract packer shall be declared.

 

5.1.5.2  For imported prepackaged good, the country of region (Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan) of origin, and the name and address of the agent, importer or distributor registered in the People's Republic of China, shall be declared.

 

5.1.6      Date marking and storage instructions

 

5.1.6.1  The date of manufacture (or the date of packaging) and the date of minimum durability shall be clearly declared. The use-by date may also be declared. Where the date is indicated by making reference to a specific place of the package, this specific place of the package shall be indicated. There shall be no paste-over, supplement, or amendment to the declared date.

 

5.1.6.1.1        The date coding shall be marked in the sequence of the year, month and day. For example: 2004 01 15 (separated by space); 20040115 (not separated by space); 2004-01-15 (separated by hyphen); ("kinesisk variant"), etc. Usually, year shall be marked in a four digit number, and a two digit number may be used of small package where there is insufficient space for a four digit number.

 

5.1.6.1.2        The date of minimum durability or the use-by date shall be declared in one of the following manners

 

a)                  For  the date of minimum durability:

"best before ... " when the date is indicated;

"The date of minimum durability up to ... " where the date is indicated;

"The date of minimum durability of…months (day, or years)".

 

b)                  For the use-by date:

"use by ... " where the date is indicated;

"The use-by date up to ... " where the date is indicated;

"The use-by date of ... months (days, or years)".

 

5.1.6.2  In addition to the date of minimum durability, any special conditions for the storage of the food shall be declared on the label if the validity of the date depends thereon.

 

5.1.7        Code of the product standard

 

The code and the order number of the national standard, trade standard, local standard or registered enterprise standard of the prepackaged food which is domestically produced and distributed (does not include imported prepackaged food) shall be declared.

 

5.1.8        Quality grades

 

Quality grades of products shall be declared in accordance with the product standard in which the grades for such food have been established.

 

5.1.9        Other mandatory labeling information

 

5.1.9.1  Irradiated food

 

5.1.9.1.1        The label of a food which has been treated with ionizing radiation shall be marked "irradiated food" in close proximity to the name of the food.

 

5.1.9.1.2        Any ingredient which has been treated with ionizing radiation shall be declared in the list or ingredients.

 

5.1.9.2      Genetically modified foods

 

The labeling of the genetically modified foods

 

5.2  Exemptions from mandatory  labeling requirements

 

5.2.1        The following prepackaged foods can be exempted from declaring the date of minimum durability: alcoholic beverages in which the alcohol content is 10% or over, vinegar, salt and sugar in solid form.

 

5.2.2        For a package or container whose largest surface area is less than 10cm2, the name of the product, net content and the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor may only be declared. For imported prepackaged food, the name of the country or region (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) of origin; and the name and address of the agent, importer or distributor registered in the People's Republic of China shall be declared, and the name and address of the manufacturer are exempted.

 

See Appendix A for the method of calculation for the largest surface area of la package or container.

 

5.3              non-mandatory labeling information

 

5.3.1        Batch identification

 

The batch number of the product identification may be declared if necessary.

 

5.3.2        Instructions for use

 

Instructions for use, like opening method, consumption method, intake amount per day/per meal, preparation method, method of reconstitution and other instructions which are helpful for consumers may be declared if necessary.

 

5.3.3        Energy and nutrients

 

The declaration of the energy and nutrient content, the nutrient content claim, the comparative claim on nutrient content and the nutrient function claim shall be in accordance with the provisions of GB 1342 --2004.