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South Korea Updates Food Code

On June 29, 2020, South Korea promulgated the revised Food Code1. The amendments include the general provision, pesticides and veterinary drugs residue limits, new raw materials, storage standard, new product type, testing methods, etc. The details are as below:

1. New General Provision

MFDS modified the general provision with the intention of relaxing the restrictions of food categorizing and promoting product innovation. In South Korea, the Food Code1 regulates the standards and specifications of food products. It consists of (a) general provisions and (b) standards and specifications for each food category specifying the permitted raw materials, manufacturing methods, testing methods, etc. According to the previous regulation, there might be no reference standard for an innovative product with a new food material or new manufacturing technology. Therefore, the competent authority added a new general provision to open more opportunities to the industry: 

As long as the final products are the same, one product can be sorted under the same food category of the final product. The product may use new food materials or manufacturing methods that are not listed in this food category's standard and specification.

2. New Food Materials

The regulation permits 29 new food materials, deletes 1 risk material, and clarifies the obscure descriptions.

Newly added:

No.

Name

Other Name/Acceptable Market Names

Scientific Name

Used Part

A가043850

Evening primrose (달맞이꽃)

Common evening primrose (겹달맞이꽃)

Oenothear biennis L.

seed, sprout

A가364850

Winter truffle

-

Tuber brumale vittad.

Fruit body

A나022650

Atka mackerel (단기임연수어)

Atka mackerel

Pleurogrammus monopterygius

-

A나028150

Eriocheir japonica (동남참게)

Japanese mitten crab

Eriocheir japonica

-

A나037250

Oriental weatherfish (미꾸리)

Pond loach

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus

-

A나069550

Catfish (주걱메기)

-

Belodontichthys dinema

-

A나075550

Blue king crab (청색왕게)

Blue king crab

Paralithodes platypus

-

A나091350

Alaska skate

-

Bathyraja parmifera

-

A나091430

American harvestfish

-

Peprilus paru

-

A나091485

Atlantic hagfish

-

Myxine glutinosa

-

A나091710

Backwater hard clam

-

Meretrix casta

-

A나091740

Bengal tongue sole

-

Cynoglossus cynoglossus

-

A나091780

Bighead catfish

-

Clarias macrocephalus

-

A나092240

Commerson's anchovy

-

Stolephorus commersonnii

-

A나092280

Common spider conch

-

Lambis lambis

-

A나092290

Curvespine cuttlefish

-

Sepia recurvirostra

-

A나092293

English sole

-

Parophrys vetulus

-

A나092298

Estuary stingray

-

Hemitrygon fluviorum

-

A나092630

Goldfish

-

Carassius auratus

-

A나092680

Gulf weakfish

-

Cynoscion othonopterus

-

A나092750

Harlequin rockfish

-

Sebastes variegatus

-

A나092780

Honeycomb stingray

-

Himantura uarnak

-

A나092790

Hooked ark

-

Cucullaea labiata

-

A나093150

Longspine thornyhead

-

Sebastolobus altivelis

-

A나093350

Mozambique tilapia

-

Oreochromis mossambicus

-

A나093380

New Zealand rough skate

-

Zearaja nasuta

-

A나093390

New Zealand smooth skate

-

Dipturus innominatus

-

A나093395

North African catfish

-

Clarias gariepinus

-

A나093950

Sea snail

-

Cerithium novaehollandiae

-

Deleted: 

No.

Name

Other Name or Acceptable Market Names

Scientific Name

Used Part

A나022200

Nutria (뉴트리아)

-

Myocastor coypus

carcass

3. Storage Standards

(1) Dried or powdered food products whose water content is less than 15% can be stored or transported frozen.

(2) Canned/bottled food and retort food whose shelf life is over 12 months, can refer to the standards and specifications for long-preserved food.

4. New Food Forms

The new version of Food Code1 permits vinegar to be made in forms other than liquid.

Additionally, the regulation also allows the seasonings to be made in beverage form.

5. Food Safety Control

MFDS intensified food safety control by adjusting the heavy metal contents remaining in edible insects, the pesticides in vegetables, and veterinary drugs remaining in livestock products.

(1) Heavy Metal Contents in Edible Insect

The authority integrated the heavy metal content limit of each edible insect into one standard:

Standard (in dried form)

Lead (mg/kg)

Cadmium (mg/kg)

Inorganic Arsenic (mg/kg)

Less than 0.1

(Rhinoceros beetle larva and Protaetia brevitarsis larva:

less than 0.3)

Less than 0.1

Less than 0.1

(2) Veterinary Drug Residue

In beef, pork, chicken, milk, egg, and fish products, the maximum residue of veterinary drugs not specified in the Food Code1 shall be under 0.01 mg/kg.

(3) Pesticide Residue Limits

The MRLs of 9 pesticides are modified, and the MRLs of 112 pesticides, such as Glufosinate, Glufosinate, Napropamide, etc., are added. (ChemLinked provides custom reports about Korean pesticide MRLs, contact at litianshuang@chemlinked.com for more details.)  

6. Other Amendments

① The specification of sulfate ion in salt is deleted to keep aligned with international standards.

② Testing methods are optimized.

③ Enterprises can manufacture “products with milk(유함유가공품)” according to the proposed standard in MFDS Notification No.2020-32.

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