- Alibaba has begun clamping down on illegal ingredients in foods sold online by rolling out a negative list and sampling measures. It will also dynamically expand the negative list.
On April 11, 2019 China’s ecommerce behemoth Tmall publicized Technical Provisions on Prohibited Ingredients in Edible Products and an auxiliary rule titled Detailed Rules for Sampling Inspection on Prohibited Ingredients in Edible Products. The two normative documents were jointly drafted by a leading third-party testing and certifying agency Centre Testing International Group (CTI), Alibaba and Hangzhou Institute for Food and Drug Control in an effort to fight against illegal and harmful ingredients applied in foods sold online. They have been effective since April 21.
Application scope: health-related products is focus
The targets of Alibaba’s action are ordinary prepackaged foods, edible primary agricultural products, Chinese traditional medicine, and foods without specific category that are sold on ecommerce platforms affiliated to Alibaba. The documents do not apply to special foods including infant formula, food for special medical purposes or health foods but are applicable to health-related foods that do not require registration or filing.
Negative list of prohibited ingredients
Unless otherwise permitted by competent authorities, ingredients mentioned in negative list (see table below) should not be detected in any concentration.
|SN||Function||Prohibited item||Test method|
|1||Obesity treatment||Sibutramine, efedrina, fenfluramine||CFDA supplementary test methods and items 2006004|
|2||Treatment of consumption thirst||Glipizide, glibenclamide, phenformin||CFDA supplementary test methods and items 2006005|
|3||Relieving swelling and pain||Diclofenac, aminopyrine||CFDA supplementary test methods and items 2006006|
|4||Relieving cough and gasp||Theophylline||CFDA supplementary test methods and items 2006007|
|5||Tranquilizer and sedative||Diazepam, clonazepam||CFDA supplementary test methods and items 2006008|
|6||Strengthening kidney and erectile function||Sildenafil, tadalafil||CFDA supplementary test methods and items 2006009|
|(for the full list, please contact our on-demand translation service)|
Foods not categorized are subject to extra sanitary requirements
Apart from application scope, terms and definitions, basic requirements and negative list, Technical Provisions on Prohibited Ingredients in Edible Products also stipulate criteria of contaminants and microorganism to regulate food without specific standards for reference. Sanitary requirements will enter effect on July 11.
Table 3 Maximum limit of microorganism
|Item||Sampling plan and limit||Test method|
|Liquid product||Solid or semi-solid product|
|Total number of colony /(CFU/g or mL)||1000||30000||GB 4789.2|
|coliform count /（MPN/g or mL）||0.43||0.92||GB 4789.3 MPN counting method|
|Mold and yeast（CFU/g or mL）||50||GB 4789.15|
|Staphylococcus aureus||0/25 g（ml）||GB 4789.10|
|Salmonella||0/25 g（ml）||GB 4789.4|