The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs published draft changes to the Turkish Food Codex Regulations on December 4, and is allowing for comments until January 16.
The document, which has now been unofficially translated into English by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, will be of interest to firms exporting their products into Turkey. It also gives an insight into thinking that is broadly in line with that in the EU, as the CIAA developed the guidance daily amount (GDA) system for nutrition labelling in 2006.
Although the EU’s own nutrition labelling regulation is still under intense discussion, the proposal does include a system not dissimilar to GDAs, which would give maximum amounts of calories, sugars, fats, saturates and sodium.
The Czech presidency of the EU council has said that the it is seeking to move the debate forward during its 6 month stint at the helm.
GDAs in Turkey
The translation of the Turkish changes gives the format and text sizes for displaying details on energy, total sugar, total fat, total saturated fat, and salt.
Each ‘figure’ needs to state the nutrient it refers to, the amount in a portion, and the percentage of the GDA.
For adults, the GDA of energy is 2000kcal, for total sugar (monosaccharide and disaccharides, but not polyols) it is 90g, total fat 70g, saturated fatty acids 20g, and salt 6g.
The document also contains an extensive list of how many grams or milliliters constitutes a serving for a range of different food products.
The height of the figures should be no more than 18mm, it says, depending on the packaging. If the figure height is less than 18mm, the font size of the information contained within it should be scaled accordingly.
No minimum font size amount is given.
Businesses will have one year to comply with the requirement following publication.
The Turkish draft also contains changes on nutritional declarations for foods that are low- or reduced-fat, sugar and salt levels – or high or increased levels of beneficial nutrients like fibre and proteins.
Criteria are given determining foods for which health claims may be made and changes on allergenic compound declarations.
The unofficial USDA GAIN translation of the Turkish document is available online.
Comments can be submitted to the Turkish government at firstname.lastname@example.org.