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NIAS Testing: Protecting Food Safety for Consumers

09-11-19Greater China

Food safety is an important issue for all global consumers. There are many steps involved in ensuring food safety and protecting the health of consumers. The quality and safety of food contact materials (FCM) have now become a hot topic in related industries so taking pro-active measures to reduce and control the transfer of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) (PDF, 689 KB) in FCM will become a top priority.

NIAS refers to substances that are unintentionally present in FCM. These substances can come from different sources such as impurities in the raw materials, by-products of chemical reactions and contaminants during the production process. There is usually no control over the presence of NIAS. It can be a wide range of chemical substance. If no assessment and corrective actions are undertaken of the final FCM then food may be contaminated with these harmful substances and pose a threat to consumer health.

National governments monitor and regulate the quality and safety of FCM to different degrees. Conformity assessments for FCM currently include the selection of appropriate materials. Continuous improvements in updates of FCM regulations around the world however mean that businesses in related industries will face increasingly complex regulatory requirements and even stricter trade barriers. For example, Article 3 of Regulation (EC) 1935/2004 requires materials and articles coming into contact with food must not transfer their constituents to food in quantities which could endanger human health. NIAS testing can be one of the solutions for checking the potentially hazardous chemicals migrating from FCM.

There is currently insufficient safety awareness among Chinese enterprises on FCM. In the first half of 2019, the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) issued 76 FCM alerts, an increase of 27% over the same period last year. 84% of these FCM alerts was exported from China. We can therefore expect the continued tightening of regulatory requirements and authorities will also become increasingly aware of advanced requirements such as NIAS testing. The inclusion of NIAS testing in product conformity assessments by businesses is therefore strongly recommended to prepare for the future.

Please note that there is currently no official standards for NIAS testing. Not all substances can be tested by a single laboratory method either. To help the industry understand the topic of NIAS, TÜV Rheinland will share the latest developments, practical tools for food contact materials regulations in the near future.

As a leading international service provider of testing, inspection and certification, TÜV Rheinland can provide one-stop services for different types of FCM services. These include customized testing plans for international buyers, providing technical support for customer consultations, extensive food contact testing for all materials, hosting of symposiums and training workshops, and regular updates on product regulations. TÜV Rheinland's team of technical experts in Hong Kong stays in close contact with regulators around the world to help businesses in related industries satisfy regulatory and voluntary requirements, as well as provide consumers with safe, high-quality products.

You can also contact your local TÜV Rheinland office to learn more about NIAS testing. We will be more than happy to provide you with our advice and assistance on how to improve the safety of products on the market and protect the health of consumers.

Hung Simon
+852 2192 1948
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