Codex meets to discuss fats and oils

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fat

The Codex committee on fats and oils (CCFO), which meets today in
London, has a busy agenda ahead of it.

The organisation, which is responsible for elaborating standards for fats and oils of animal, vegetable and marine origin, has already endorsed and adopted into the international food code numerous standards covering edible fats and oils not covered by individual standards and margarine. However a number of issues remain unresolved. For example, the 20th session will discuss the EC's comments on the issue of water, non-fat solids and fat content in butter. The EC has pointed out that the method for the determination of moisture is used for butter, and has questioned its applicability for fat spreads since the moisture content is higher in these products. While the EC has agreed to endorse temporarily the methods for the determination of moisture, non-fat solids and fat content, it has asked the CCFO to clarify the applicability of the method to fat spreads. The delegation of India has also proposed to refer to the name of fats and oils in a generic and/or specific manner in order to facilitate consumer choice. The committee, however, agreed to retain the text in section 7.1.2 as it said that the labelling provisions had been extensively discussed at the last meetings of the committee on food labelling and the committee on fats and oils. At the 19th Session of the committee, the observer from the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOSFA), on behalf of ISO, presented its proposal to amend several names of oils and botanical names of original seeds in Section 2.1 of the Codex Standard for Named Vegetable Oils in accordance with the ISO Standard 5507:2002 (Oil seeds, Vegetable Fats and Oils - Nomenclature). The observer pointed out that inconsistency between Codex Standard and ISO standard should be avoided in order to ensure clear identification of internationally traded oil products without any misunderstanding or confusion over the names. The Committee decided to ask ISO to provide more explanations on the ISO proposal and replies to the questions raised by the Committee in order to consider this issue in the next session. The last session of the CCFO also forwarded requests for advice or endorsement to other committees. The committee on methods of analysis and sampling, for example, was asked to comment on the Draft Standard for Fat Spreads and Blended Fat Spreads. ​The 26th Session of the Committee agreed that there was an average percentage of 3.42 per cent butyric acid in milk fat and therefore an average conversion factor based on the average content should be used for the calculation of milk fat from the determined butyric acid content. The Committee also agreed to include a footnote clarifying that the method was endorsed as Type I due to the conversion factor. The committee has also noted that the 18th session of the committee on fats and oils had discussed the labelling section in the draft standard for fat spreads and blended spreads in response to the request from the 32nd​ session of the committee. The committee agreed to insert a new paragraph to declare names of fats and oils in a generic or specific manner for 'fat spreads' or 'blended fat spreads'.

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