Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Saudi Arabia

Posted on: 23 Jan 2012

FAIRS Country Report provides useful information about regulatory requirements and import procedures for food and agricultural imports as they are established and enforced by the government of Saudi A

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 12/27/2011 GAIN Report Number: SA1113 Saudi Arabia Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Narrative FAIRS Country Report Approved By: Tawhid Al-Saffy Prepared By: Hussein Mousa Report Highlights: FAIRS Country Report provides useful information about regulatory requirements and import procedures for food and agricultural imports as they are established and enforced by the government of Saudi Arabia. The Food Laws Section of this report is updated with information on the newly revised animal feed subsidy and the Saudi government’s decision to eliminate and/or reduce duties on imported foodstuffs. Disclaimer This report was prepared by the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service in (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. While every possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be completely accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because clear and consistent information about these policies was not available. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of import requirements with their foreign customers, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO SAUDI ARABIA’S RULES AND REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED AND IMPLEMENTED BY PORT OF ENTRY OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT’S ENTRY. Section I. Food Laws: A. Overview Saudi Arabia is the largest and a growing market for high value foodstuffs in the Gulf region. All food products are imported by the private sector. The vast majority of food products are subject to a 5 percent import duty while coffee, tea and fresh red meat enter the country duty free. Selected processed food products, however, are assessed higher import duties. In order to protect local food processors and production from competitively priced imports, the Kingdom ties import duties to the level of local production of similar products. As a general rule, a maximum import tariff rate of 40 percent is applied when local production of a food or agricultural product exceeds a self-sufficiency level. Currently, a 40 percent import duty rate applies to fresh, dried and processed dates. Imported ice cream is assessed a 20 percent import duty. Recently, the Saudi government introduced an agricultural policy aimed at the phased elimination of water intensive agricultural crops such as wheat. In 2009, the Saudi government implemented its 2008 decree which called for a 12.5 percent annual reduction in local wheat production over an eight year period. The government’s goal is to terminate local wheat production by the spring of 2016. Until then, Saudi Arabia will augment the percentage reduction in local wheat production by importing a similar percentage from the international wheat market. The government will maintain the guaranteed purchase price for locally grown wheat at $267 per metric ton until 2016. In 2003, Saudi Arabia eliminated barley production to save water. Grain and forage production place large demands on non-renewable aquifer water, resulting in an imbalance between water recharge and water discharge. The new agricultural policy calls for selective agricultural development to achieve a balance between water and food security. The Saudi government has continued to support selective agricultural production to encourage and support farmers by providing soft and interest-free loans, distributing free farm land, subsidizing some production equipment and animal feed. On July 27, 2011, the Saudi Ministry of Finance (MOF) issued a detailed revised animal feed subsidy scheme in order to implement King Abdullah’s instructions to increase animal feed subsidy by 100 percent. For example, import subsidy for yellow corn was increased from $60.27 per metric ton (MT) in January 2009 to $120.53 per MT in July 27, 2011. The new Saudi animal feed import subsidy list consists of 31 animal feed ingredients that included new additional fourteen feed ingredients such as Dried Distillers Grain with Soluble (DDGS), and Corn Gluten Feed (CGF). However, barley, the main animal feed grain in Saudi Arabia, was not included on the new subsidy list. Because the MOF has become the exclusive barely importer to Saudi Arabia since the end of 2010 The MOF imports barley at prevailing world price and sales domestically to end users at $213.33 per MT. The new subsidy rates are calculated according to energy and protein levels of each feed ingredient. This means, the higher the protein and energy levels a feed ingredient contains, the more subsidy that government pays for the import of that particular feed ingredient. For example, imported soybean meal (48% Protein and 2,450 energy content per MT) receives the highest subsidy rate of $202.13 per MT. On the other hand, imported barley straw (2% protein and 1500 energy per MT) receives the lowest government import subsidy rate of $49.33. For religious reasons, Saudi Arabia bans imports of alcoholic beverages, live swine, pork and food ingredients or additives that contain pork products, including pork fat and gelatin. Livestock meat and poultry shipments must be accompanied by a "Halal" slaughter certificate issued by an Islamic center in the country of origin. Additional statements on the health certificate accompanying poultry and livestock meat shipments must indicate that the animals slaughtered for export to the Kingdom were not fed with feed containing protein, fat or remnants of animal origin and were not treated with any growth hormones. The most important regulatory, non-tariff barriers that U.S. food product exporters encounter in Saudi Arabia include: biotech labeling, production & expiration date regulations, Arabic labeling requirements, a declaration that animals slaughtered and exported to Saudi Arabia were not fed with feed containing protein, fat or remnants of animal origin, and a Halal Slaughtering certificate for both livestock and poultry meat. Saudi Arabia is the most influential member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes five other countries in the Arabian Peninsula: United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. As a group, the GCC is striving to create a common set of food standards. The Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) is a dominant standard setting agency in the GCC countries. In June 2011, SASO transferred the responsibility for setting national standards for food and feed to Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA). Since 1972, Saudi Arabia has issued more than 1000 production and testing standards for agricultural products and is presently working on new standards. Saudi standards are typically based on CODEX Alimentarius regulations and to some extent on European and U.S. standards, but are modified to reflect local conditions. B. SFDA In May 2009, the SFDA took over the responsible for inspecting imported high value food products at the Kingdom’s 27 ports of entry. In June 2011, the SFDA assumed the responsibilities of setting food and agricultural standards from the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO). The SFDA will take over inspection of imported animal feed, fruits, vegetables and drugs in the next few months. The SFDA has hired a German company to help implement its three-year $200 million dollar capacity building program, which involves upgrading food inspection laboratories, training staff, and developing advanced food inspection techniques. The SFDA, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, has a Board of Directors consisting of eight ministers: Municipality & Rural Affairs, Defense, Interior, Health, Commerce and Industry, Agriculture, Water & Electricity, Finance, Economic & Planning plus the SFDA Executive Director General, and representation from other organizations such as the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO), the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Saudi food and drugs experts. Regulatory Role of the SFDA The SFDA regulates, oversees, and controls food, drugs, and medical devices, as well as sets mandatory standards for both imported and locally manufactured products. Testing activities for these products will be conducted in SFDA or other government-operated laboratories. In addition, the SFDA will be responsible for educating consumers on all matters related to food, drugs and medical devices. Principal work objectives of the SFDA are summarized below: Monitor the safety, security, and effectiveness of food and drugs for human and animal consumption. Monitor the safety of complementary biological and chemical substances, cosmetics and pesticides. Monitor the safety of medical diagnostic devices and their impact on public health. Establish and implement clear policies and procedures for food and drugs. Conduct research and applied studies to identify health problems, their causes, and set methods for research evaluation. The Authority will establish scientific guidelines for specialized consulting services and executive programs in the fields of food and drugs. This may be accomplished through the recruitment of experts or through a partnership with research bodies such as King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and/or university research centers. Control and supervise the licensing of factories producing food, drugs and medical devices. Disseminate and exchange information with local and international scientific and legal agencies. In May 2009, the SFDA assumed the responsibilities for the following procedural, regulatory and calibration tasks: Inspect all agricultural, animal product and veterinary medicine imports customs clearance. Control imported food and drugs. Control animal and other agricultural products under agriculture and animal quarantine statutes. Control locally processed food items before and during the production process, under the terms of quality and compliance certificates. Test children’s food, therapeutic potable water, tobacco and plant derivatives. Control and inspect markets, foodstuff commercial centers, restaurants, and food plants to ensure adherence to Saudi health and safety specifications, and laws related to commercial fraud in the areas of food and drugs. Ensure the safety of potable water supplies. Supervise the implementation of statutes and laws related to food and drugs. Monitor hygiene conditions for facilities producing food and drug products. Supervise the safety of food workers through periodic site examinations. Regulate, monitor and inspect animal slaughtering facilities and meat sales outlets. SFDA has recently commenced rigorously implementing officially Saudi and Gulf foodstuff regulations. For example SFDA is enforcing a SASO standard for grape leaves (SASO 1909/2001) that limit stem length of grape leaves at 0.5 cm. Even though, the standard was issued in 2001, it has never been strictly applied until a few weeks ago. This SFDA’s strict implementation of SASO 1909/2001 has resulted in the rejection of several shipments of U.S. grape leaves that SFDA laboratories tests identified as containing stem length more than the allowed 0.5 cm. Section II. Labeling Requirements: SFDA Implements Gulf Standards Organization (GSO) No.9/2007 On June 9, 2010, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) informed Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry that it will fully implement section 7/2 of Gulf Standards Organization (GSO) No.9/2007 titled ―Labeling of Prepackaged Food Stuffs‖. The most important requirement in the SFDA circular number E/991 is the decision to accept only Arabic language stickers affixed by manufacturers (section 7/2/2/1 of GSO 9/2007) on labels of exported prepackaged food products. In the past, Saudi Arabia has allowed food products exporting houses or consolidators to place Arabic language stickers on labels of prepackaged food products at their warehouses. Grace Period to Implement the New Requirement SFDA granted a six month grace period that ends on December 9, 2010 for domestic foodstuff importers to fully implement the new requirement. SFDA has informed its food inspection laboratories at Saudi ports of entry to reject any prepackaged food products shipment that does not comply with the new Arabic language stickers requirement. A. General Requirements All imported and locally produced prepackaged foodstuffs must meet labeling requirements as indicated in Gulf Standard 9/2007. According to this GCC-wide standard, prepackaged food product labels should be in Arabic or include an Arabic language translation of the label. Labels must contain at a minimum: the product name, packer’s name, country of origin or manufacture, listing of ingredients, instructions where applicable, for the end use of the product, and the shelf-life of the product. Section five of GSO 9/2007, specifies the following mandatory labeling requirements for prepackaged food products: 5/1 Name of the food product. 5/1/1 The name shall identify the true nature of the food and shall normally be specific and not generic. 5/1/2 Where a name or names have been established for a foodstuff in an individual Gulf Standard, at least one of these names shall be used; otherwise, the usual or common name used in the country where the food is distributed shall be adopted. 5/1/3 In the absence of any such names, either usually or commonly existing, an appropriate descriptive name which is not misleading or confusing to the consumer shall be used. 5/1/4 There shall be placed, either in conjunction with or in close proximity to the name of the food, such additional words or phrases as necessary to avoid misleading or confusing the consumer as regards the true natural or physical condition of the contents of a prepackaged foodstuff including the type of packing medium, style, the conditions or type of treatment has it undergone; for instance: dried, condensed, reconstituted, or smoked. 5/ 2 List of Ingredients: 5/2/1 With the exception of single ingredient foods, a list of all ingredients shall be shown on the label in a descending order of ingoing weight proportions (m/m), at the time of the manufacture of such a foodstuff. 5/2/2 The list of ingredients shall be either preceded or headed by an appropriate title including the term ' INGREDIENTS '. 5/2/3 A list of food additives to the product or their numerical codes (international classification system (ICS) or European index) need to be declared. 5/2/4 The foodstuffs and ingredients which are known to cause hypersensitivity shall always be declared; these are : 5/2/4/1 Cereals containing gluten substance ;i.e., wheat, barley ,oats, rye, spelt as such or their hybridized strains and products of these; 5/2/4/2 Crustacea and products of these ; 5/2/4/3 Eggs and egg products ; 5/2/4/4 Fish and fish products ; 5/2/4/5 Peanuts, soybeans and products of these ; 5/2/4/6 Walnuts and nut products ; 5/2/4/7 Milk and milk products (lactose included) ; 5/2/4/8 Sulphite in concentration of 10 mg/kg or more. 5/2/5 Added water shall be declared in the list of ingredients except when the water forms a part of an ingredient such as brine, syrup or broth used in compound foods and mentioned as such in the list of ingredients. However, water or other volatile particles evaporated in the course of manufacture need not to be declared. 5/2/6 In the case of dehydrated or condensed foods which are intended to be reconstituted by adding water only, the ingredients may be listed after the addition of water in the order of weight proportion (m/m) in the reconstituted product, provided the inclusion of an explanatory statement such as "ingredients of the product when prepared in accordance with the instructions on the label". 5/2/7 The presence in any foodstuff or any of its ingredients being obtained via biotechnology of an allergen probably transferable from it to any of the products listed in Clause 5/2/4 shall be declared. 5/2/8 A specific name shall be used for ingredients in compliance with the provisions laid down in Clause 5/1), except :- 5/2/8/1 For generic nomenclature: unless a universal class title would be more informative, the following names may be used:- Title of classes Specific class names -Refined oils , other than olive oil. - The term 'Oils' accompanied by either the quality' vegetable' or 'animal' and a statement as to indicate whether it is 'hydrogenated' or 'partially hydrogenated' as appropriate. - The term 'fat' together with either the quality -Refined fats. 'vegetable' or 'animal, as appropriate. - 'Starch' -Starches , other than chemically modified Starch. - All types of fish where the fish constitutes an ingredient of another food , provided that the - 'Fish'. labeling and presentation of such a food does not refer to a specific species of fish. -All types of poultry meat where such meat - ' Poultry meat.' constitutes an ingredient of another food , provided that the labeling and presentation of such a food does not refer to a specific kind of poult ry meat. - ' Cheese ' -All types of cheese where the cheese or a mixture of cheeses constitutes an ingredient of another food , provided that the labeling and presentation of such a food does not refer to a specific type of cheese. All spices and spice extracts, not exceeding 2% of - 'Spices','spice' or 'mixed spices' as the weight, whether added individually or in appropriate. combination in the foods. - All herbs or parts of herbs as appropriate, not exceeding 2% of the weight, whether added - 'Essential herbs 'or ' mixed essential herbs' as singly or as a mixture in the foods. appropriate. -All types of gum preparations used in - 'Gum base'. producing the gum base for the manufacture of chewing gum. - - 'Sugar'. All types of sucrose . -Anhydrous dextrose and dextrose monohydrate. - 'Dextrose'or 'glucose'. - All types of caseinates - 'Caseinates' - Raw , pressed or refined cocoa butter - 'cocoa butter' -All crystallized fruits not exceeding10%of the - ' Crystallized fruit ' weight of food. 5/2/8/2 For the food additives permitted for use in Gulf Standards the following names shall be used beside the specific name or international number:- Acidity Regulators: - Acids - Anti-caking Agents - Anti-foaming Agents - Anti-oxidants - Bulking Agents - Colors - Gelling Agents - Glazing Agents - Humectants - Preservatives - Color Retention Agents - Emulsifiers - Emulsifying Salts - Firming Agents - Flour treatment Agents - Flavor Enhancers - Foaming Agents - Raising Agents - Stabilizers - Sweeteners - Thickeners. 5/2/8/3 The following names may be used for food additives permitted in foods, in general :- - Flavor(s) and flavoring(s): can be described as 'natural', 'natural identical' or 'artificial ' as appropriate; - Modified starch(es). 5/2/9 Shall be included in the list of ingredients, however, any food additive carried over from a food into another in a significant quantity or in an amount sufficient to perform a particular technological function in that food as a result of the use of raw materials or other ingredients in which the additive was used. Exempted from that, are the additives and processing aids . 5/2/10 Exempted from appearing in the list of ingredients is any food additive carried over into a food in a proportion less than that required for achieving a certain technological function in that food, . This exemption does not apply to the other food additives or processing aids. 5/2/11 Nutritional Information: The following nutritional information may be preferably set out, however, in the case of foods catered for special dietary use the declaration of this information on the label is mandatory : 5/2/11/1 The nutritive value of the prepackaged foodstuffs to include such essential elements as: (Carbohydrates- Fats- Protein- Dietary fibers - Energy). 5/2/11/2 In the case of adding vitamins , mineral salts or any other dietary elements in the food ingredients, then , the value of each dietary element shall be separately declared in the nutritional information accompanying the prepackaged foodstuff. 5/2/11/3 All nutritional information and /or net content shall be set forth as percentage by weight if, it is less than 100 g or100ml. 5/2/11/4 The information shall be set out in international units (g. mg. μg- IU ) and (kilocalories) for Energy items). 5/3 Net Contents 5/3/1 The net contents, since packed, shall be declared in metric system. 5/3/2 The net contents shall be declared by volume as for liquid foods, by weight for solid foods and either by weight or volume for semi-solid or viscous foods. 5/3/3 The drained weight (weight of food after the liquid has been drained) of a packed shall be declared. A liquid medium means water, or any aqueous solutions of sugar or salt , fruit or vegetable juices in canned such products only, or vinegar, either in a single or combined form. 5/4 Name And Address The name and address of the manufacturer, packer, distributor, importer, exporter or vendor shall be declared. 5/5 Country of Origin 5/5/1 The country of origin of the food shall be declared on the food containers if its omission would mislead or deceive the consumer about the item , especially in the case of repacking. 5/5/2 When a foodstuff undergoes processing in a second country which may probably change its fundamental nature, the country where the processing has taken place shall be considered as the country of origin for labeling purposes. 5/6 Lot Identification Each container shall be embossed or permanently marked either in such a coded or express terminology as to identify the processing lot numerical. 5/7 Date Marking and Instructions for Storage And Use 5/7/ Without prejudice to what has been mentioned in Gulf standard stated in item (2.1) the production date : and expiration date shall be declared as follows:- 5/7/1/1 For food products with a minimum durability less than three months (i.e. Day - Month -Year). 5/7/1/2 For food products with a minimum durability of more than three months (i.e. Month –Year). If the month is December, the years is declared, and the minimum durability shall be counted up to the end of the month in which the expiration is dated. 5/7/2 The expiration date shall be preceded by such phrases as:- 5/72/1 Best before…'accompanied by the date; 5/72/2 Best before end…' in other cases. These phrases shall be accompanied by either the date itself, or a reference to where the date is given. 5/7/3 The day, month and year shall be indicated in a clear (uncoded) manner in the same order. 5/7/4 The expiration date shall not be declared in case of the following products:- 5/7/4/1 Fresh fruits and vegetables, including potatoes which have not been peeled, cut or similarly treated; 5/7/4/2 Bakers' ware or pastry which are normally consumed within 24 hours from their manufacture; 5/7/4/3 Vinegar ; 5/7/4/4 Edible salt; 5/7/4/5 Sugar; 5/7/4/6 Confectionery products consisting of flavored and /or colored sugary items; 5/7/4/7 Chewing gum. 5/7/5 In addition to the expiration date, any specific requirements pertaining to the storage conditions of the food shall be laid down on the label, should the minimum durability be dependent thereupon. 5/7/6 Instructions for use including reconstitution directives , where applicable, shall be indicated on the label, if necessary for ensuring a correct and sound utilization of the foodstuff . 5/8 Irradiated Foods 5/8/1 The labeling of a food which has been treated with ionizing radiation shall include a written statement indicating such a treatment in close proximity to the food name. The use of International Food Irradiation Symbol is optional ; however, whenever declared on the label it shall be placed in conjunction with the name of food. 5/8/2 In the case where an irradiated product is used as an ingredient in another food, so, this shall be set out in the list of ingredients. 5/8/3 When a single ingredient product is prepared from a raw material which has already undergone a treatment by radiation, this shall be stated in the list of ingredients. 6. Exemptions from Mandatory Labeling Requirements Except for spices and essential herbs, small units, where the area largest surface is less than 10 cm² may be exempted from the requirements stipulated in Clauses 5/2, 5/6 up to 5/7. 7. Presentation of Mandatory Information 7/1 General Requirements 7/1/1 Labels stuck to the prepackaged foods shall be applied in such a manner as to prevent their removal from the container. 7/1/2 Statements intended to appear on the label shall be marked in a clearly visible and easily legible manner, under the normal conditions for purchase and use. 7/1/3 When the container is covered by a wrapper, this shall carry the necessary information; or the labeling on the container shall be readily legible through the wrapping and not obscured thereby. 7/1/4 The name and net contents of the food shall appear in a prominent position within the same scope of vision. 7/1/5 Any illegal or unauthorized nomenclature, terminology, coding, pictorial…etc, shall not be used. 7/1/6 If the informative label is in contact with the foodstuff, it shall not contain any chemicals or so. The ink used therein shall not be oozing or leaking in any way. The containers shall meet the requirements laid down in the relevant GS (vide Clause 2/3). 7/2 Language 7/2/1 Labeling and adjoining explanatory statements shall be in Arabic and, where another language is used, it shall be alongside the Arabic. All the information provided in another language shall be identical with those written in Arabic. 7/2/2 If the Arabic information is stated in a supplementary sticker adjacent to the original label, the following shall be met:- 7/2/2/1 It shall be a single sticker provided by the manufacture only, to fulfill all the relevant stipulations provided in this standard. 7/2/2/2 It shall not obscure any information required by this standard. 7/2/2/3 It shall not contain any statement discrepant with the original labeling. 7/2/2/4 It shall be irremovable in the ordinary handling and circulation conditions of the prepackaged foodstuff. 8. Optional Labeling 8/1 Additional statements, pictorial or graphic matters may be either written impressed or photographed on the label, provided that they shall neither contradict with mandatory labeling method , nor contain any medicinal or therapeutic declaration, or breach the provisions of this standard. 8/2 When marking the product grade declaration it shall be legibly understandable and not entail deception or misleading in any way. 8/3 If the foodstuff consists of two ingredients or more, the class name of the main ingredient may be listed with the rest of ingredients in a descending sequence by weight (m/m); but an ingredient with the proportion of less than 5% of the foodstuff shall not be included in the list of ingredients. SFDA Requires Foodstuff Manufacturers to Affix Arabic Language Stickers on Labels of Exported Prepackaged Food Products On June 9, 2010, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) informed Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry that it will fully implement on December 9, 2010 section 7/2 of Gulf Standards Organization (GSO) No.9/2007 titled ―Labeling of Prepackaged Food Stuffs‖. The most important requirement in the SFDA circular number E/991 is the decision to accept only Arabic language stickers affixed by manufacturers on labels of exported prepackaged food products (section 7/2/2/1 of GSO 9/2007). In the past, Saudi Arabia has allowed food products exporting houses or consolidators to place Arabic language stickers on labels of prepackaged food products at their warehouses. Grace Period to Implement the New Requirement SFDA granted a six month grace period that ends on December 9, 2010 for domestic foodstuff importers to fully implement the new requirement. SFDA has informed its food inspection laboratories at Saudi ports of entry to reject any prepackaged food products shipment that does not comply with the new Arabic language stickers requirement. Section 7/2 states the following: 7/2: Language: 7/2/1: Labeling and adjoining explanatory statements shall be in Arabic and, where another language is used, it shall be alongside the Arabic. All the information provided in another language shall be identical with those written in Arabic. 7/2/2: If the Arabic information is stated in a supplementary sticker adjacent to the original label , the following shall be met: 7/2/2/1: It shall be a single sticker provided by the manufacture only to fulfill all the relevant stipulations provided in this standard. 7/2/2/2: It shall not obscure any information required by this standard. 7/2/2/3: It shall not contain any statement discrepant with the original labeling. 7/2/2/4: It shall be irremovable in the ordinary handling and circulation conditions of the prepackaged foodstuff. B. Shelf Life In December 2005, Saudi Arabia implemented a voluntary shelf life standard (manufacturer-determined use-by dates) for most foodstuffs with the exception of selected perishable foods (fresh or chilled meat and poultry; fresh milk and fresh milk based products; margarine; fresh fruit juice; table eggs, and baby foods) that must meet SASO’s established mandatory expiration periods. The revised standard (SASO 457/2005) will no longer ban imports of food product with less than half of its shelf life remaining. Shelf life can only be shown by clear and unambiguous production and expiration dates. The use of any of the following statements for expressing expiration date is permissible. Expiration Date Use by (date) Fit for (from the day of production) Use Before (date) Sell by date (for food products having an expiration period exceeding 3 months). The production and expiration dates should be declared on the label of the package in uncoded manner as follows: Day-Month-Year: for foodstuffs with an expiration period less than three months. Month-Year: for foodstuffs with expiration exceeding three months. Dates shall be engraved or in relief, printed to stamp with permanent ink directly on all packages or on their original label by the producer only. Adding stickers for production and expiration dates is not permissible. There shall be not more than one date of production or of expiration on the same package. Both dates shall not be subject to deletion, change or deceit. Products with No Specific Expiration Date: Products with no specified shelf life such as salt, spices, milled rice, etc. only the date of production or processing would be shown as: mm/yy. We recommend that when putting together an order for a Saudi importer, a U.S. exporter should cross check information contained on his/her food label, including Production/Expiration dates, with the Saudi buyer. C. Additional Labeling Requirements In addition to requirements per GCC 9/1995, the following labeling information must be declared for food additives and antioxidants used in foodstuffs: For coloring matters, their mixtures, preparations and diluents used in foodstuffs, the following additional information must be declared: 1. Common name 2. Color index number 3. Name of solvent or diluent 4. Production and expiration dates in a non-coded manner (day-month-year) 5. Dye purity 6. The statement ―Free from alcohol‖ 7. The statement ―Color matter for use in foodstuffs.‖ For Flavors permitted for use in Foodstuffs common name and code number (if found) must be declared on food products containers contained flavors. For preservatives permitted for use in food products, common name or EEC number and a statement ―Preservative for Use in Food Products‖ in case of preservatives containers. For emulsifiers, stabilizers and thickeners permitted for use in foodstuffs, the following additional information must be declared: 1. Common name or EEC no. 2. In case of gelatin, lecithin and mono and diglycerides the source shall be mentioned. For Sweeteners Permitted for Use in Food Products: 1. The name of sweeteners or INS numbers 2. Food products formulated specifically for use by diabetics or for other special nutritional uses shall contain the statement ―Food for special dietary use or food for diabetic.‖ 3. The amount of sweeteners matter, mg/liter or kg in case of using combination of sweeteners, the amount of each in combination shall be declared. The following warning must be declared: 4. In case of aspartame, ―Not to be used by persons who have phenyl ketonuria.‖ 5. In case of saccharine, ―Use of this product may be hazardous to your health because it contains saccharin which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.‖ 6. In the case of sugar alcohol "Excess of consumed quantity may cause diarrhea.‖ The following additional labeling information must be declared for antioxidants permitted for use in foodstuffs: 1. Common name or EEC number 2. A statement ―Antioxidants permitted for use in foodstuffs‖ in case of antioxidant containers. D. Requirements Specific to Nutritional Labeling In addition to the general labeling requirements as stated in GS 9/1995, further information must be declared for prepackaged foods for special dietary use per Gulf Standard No. 654/1996 (General Requirements for Prepackaged Foods for Special Dietary Use). Following is the main labeling information to be stated per GSO No. 654/1996. Definition of Dietary Foods: GSO number 654/1996 defines dietary foods as food products specially prepared or formulated to satisfy particular dietary requirements which exist because of a particular physical or physiological conditions and/or specific diseases and disorders. These foodstuffs differ significantly in composition from the ordinary products of comparable nature, if such ordinary foods exist. Requirements The following shall be met in prepackaged foods for special dietary uses: 4.1 The product shall be completely free from pork products or their derivatives. 4.2 It shall be registered by the Saudi Ministry of Health. 4.3 It shall not be pharmaceutically packaged in a way suggesting that it is a drug. 4.4 It shall be offered for sale in places separated from the ordinary foods in supermarkets. Foods for special dietary uses for infants and children shall be dispensed only by pharmacies, hospitals and children care centers. 4.5 Artificial sweeteners are not permitted to be used in all baby and infant foods. Labeling: Without prejudice to what is stated in the Gulf standards mentioned in 2.1 and 2.2, the following shall be declared on the label: 5. 1 Name of the product followed by the characterizing essential features indicating that it is a food for special dietary use. 5.2 The amount of energy expressed in kilojoules and kilocalories per 100 grams or 100 ml of the food product and where appropriate per the specified quantity of food as suggested for consumption. 5.3 Its content of protein, carbohydrates, fat, dietary, fiber and each vitamin and mineral per 100 grams or 100 nil of the food (as sold) and where appropriate per specified quantity of the food as suggested for consumption. 5.4 The total quantity of the specific nutrients which provide the characterizing essential features per 100 grams or 100 ml of the food product and, where appropriate, per specified quantity of food as suggested for consumption. 5.5 The special cases in which the food is used and the suitable amount permissible for daily consumption. 5.6 Storage conditions before and after opening of the package. 5.7 The procedures of preparation and use, and in the case of baby and infant foods the procedures shall be indicated according to the age of child. 5.8 The following cautionary statement shall be declared: "To Be Used Under Medical Supervision", wherever applicable to certain foods. 5.9 The amount of added sweeteners accompanied by the following cautionary statements: 5.9.1 In the case of aspartame: [5.9.1.1] "Not to be used by persons who have phenylketonuria", [5.9.1.2] "The maximum intake shall not exceed 40 mg/kg of body weight". 5.9.2 In the case of saccharin: "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health, because it contains saccharin which has been determined to cause cancer to laboratory animals". 5.9.3 In the case of manitol: "Excess of consumed quantity of manitol over 20 g per day may cause diarrhea". 5.9.4 In the case of sorbitol or xylitol: "Excess of consumed quantity of sorbitol or xylitol over 40 g per day may cause diarrhea". 5.10 Not to be described or marked in such a manner that misleads the consumer. E. Biotech Labeling In December 2001, MOCI implemented its biotech labeling decree for processed foodstuffs. The decree requires positive biotech labeling if a product contains genetically modified vegetable (plant) ingredients. In a similar move, the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) implemented in January 2004 a comparable biotech-labeling requirement on animal feed, fruit and vegetables while banning imports of GE seeds. Following is a summary of the biotech labeling requirements implemented by the MOCI: A. Positive labeling: If a product contains one or more GE plant ingredient, the information should be clearly communicated to the consumer by labeling. A triangle should be drawn on the label with text that should read "Contains Genetically Modified Product (s). The Ministry will not accept a statement that says "This Product May Contain biotech Ingredients." Saudi Arabia does not permit imports of foodstuffs that contain GE animal products. According to the MOCI, local food producers must also abide by the biotech labeling requirements. B. Bilingual labeling: The biotech statement must be clearly written in Arabic and English languages with ink color different from that of the main product tag. C. Health certificate: Biotech products exported to Saudi Arabia must have been approved in the country of origin for human or animal consumption. Each shipment must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a government agency stating that the GE ingredient used in the foodstuff is approved in the country of origin for human or animal consumption. D. PCR Real Time Method: MOC approved the PCR Real Time Method for GE testing and set 0.9 percent threshold. If the test results reveal more than 0.9 percent of GE ingredient, the product is either destroyed locally or re-exported to the country of origin. Products with less than 0.9 percent of GE content are exempt from further testing for six months. If still on the market after six months, these products must be tested and recertified. Presently, no GE-labeled retail food products are marketed in Saudi Arabia, but GE-labeled bulk commodities and products destined for institutional end users are imported and marketed. E. Biotech health certificate: The Saudi Ministry of Commerce has agreed to accept health certificates issued by state departments of agriculture for high value products instead of the previous requirement that the certificates be issued by a federal government agency such as USDA or FDA for U.S. products. The Ministry has reiterated its refusal to consider any health certificate issued by exporting companies or other private organizations including notary public statements. F. For U.S. grains: The MOA has accepted a one-time biotech grains certification statement from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) submitted to the Ministry in 2003. The statement certified that the exported transgenic grains are the same as those consumed in the United States. The approved statement eliminates the need for a shipment-by-shipment positive biotech certification for corn and soybean meal exported to the Kingdom. The MOA still requires each shipment of biotech fruits and vegetables to be labeled and accompanied by a biotech health certificate. In 2004, the MOA banned imports of all types of biotech seeds. G. In February 2005, the Saudi Government announced the establishment of a national high-level committee consisting of four ministries, the Saudi Arabian Standard Organization (SASO), universities and the private sector to conduct a comprehensive policy review of current biotech labeling requirements. On the other hand, as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) Customs Union, the six member countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and U.A.E. ) are working toward unifying their standard and conformity assessment systems. After working on three biotech draft standards for three years, Saudi Arabia decided in February 2009 to abandon its efforts to issue national biotech standards and opted to join hands with other members of the GCC countries to work on promulgating GCC wide agricultural biotech standards under the auspices of the Gulf Standards Organization (GSO). The three Saudi agricultural biotech drafts standards indicated below were submitted to GSO Agricultural Biotech Subcommittee in 2009 and were immediately adopted as the GCC biotech draft standards: (1) General Requirements for Genetically Modified Food and Feed (2) General Requirements for Genetically Modified Unprocessed Agricultural Products (3) General Requirements for Risk Assessment and Traceability for Genetically Modified In November 2010, Saudi Arabia on behalf of GCC countries sent the above three draft GCC biotech standards to WTO for public comments and established January 7, 2011 as a deadline to provide feedback. In December 2010, ATO Riyadh officially submitted U.S. comments on the three above GCC biotech draft standards to SFDA. The GCC is currently in an advance stage in evaluating comments received for several counties on the three biotech draft standards. According to SFDA, the feedback received from several countries including U.S. comments will help the GCC develop a regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology. Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations: In 1997, Saudi Arabia issued standard No. SSA 1149/1997 entitled Food Packages-part 1-General Requirements. Some of the main requirements are listed below: All packaging materials used in fabricating, forming, or treating packages shall be of food grade for contact with foods and in compliance with relevant Saudi standards. They shall be clean and in a condition that does not allow any contamination probabilities of the contained material. They shall maintain the properties of the packaged material and protect it from gaining undesirable odors, flavors and tastes. They shall offer protection to the product against contamination with microorganisms, insect, rodents, and dirt in the cases of products that requires it. They shall be impermeable to moisture in the cases of food products that require it. They shall offer necessary protection against environmental conditions and mechanical hazards such as impacts, vibration, static stresses, and they shall be in an intact appearance during handling. They shall not affect the container as a result of migration of some of their constituents that may react or be mixed with the food materials. It shall not be in a pharmaceutical shape. Saudi standard No. SASO 1301/1997 deals with specifications for the general requirements of plastic packages used for packaging food materials. The three page regulations require limits among other things that the concentration of a vinyl chloride monomer not to exceed 1 mg per kg of the plastic material, or 0.01 mg per kg of the packaged food material if the packages are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Per the standard, the following labeling information should be written on labels of plastic packages used to package foodstuffs: 1. Type of plastic material 2. Weight, capacity, number, or dimensions based on the type of packages 3. Statement of food grade 4. Purpose and type of application 5. Directions for usage 6. Warnings if applicable Section IV. Food Additives Regulations: 1. The Kingdom and the other five Gulf Cooperation countries have established the following major gulf-wide standards that regulate additives used in foodstuffs. Each standard contains a positive additive list. An eight-page Gulf Standard No. 23/1998 entitled ―Coloring Matter Used in Food Stuff.‖ Shown below lists coloring matter permitted in foodstuffs. Section 3- Definitions 3.1 Natural coloring matter: A material extracted, isolated, or otherwise derived with or without intermediates-from vegetables, animals, minerals or any other sources, which when added to a foodstuff is capable (alone or through reaction with another substance) of imparting a distinguishing color thereto. 3.2 Synthetic coloring matter: A material produced by synthesis of any similar artificial method and which when added to the foodstuff is capable (alone or through reaction with another substance) of imparting a distinguishing color thereto. 3.3 Lake: A salt prepared by reaction of one of the water soluble pigments with the basic radical aluminum or calcium. Section 4- Requirements The following shall be met in the coloring matter: 4.1 It shall be completely free from pork products or their derivatives. 4.2 It shall not react with food components or its containers. 4.3 It shall be capable of dissolving or dispersing in the foodstuff in case it is used without solvents. 4.4 Loss of weight on drying shall not exceed 0.2% in case of Beta-Carotene, Beta- Apo-8-Carotenal, Beta-Apo-8-Carotenoic acid and Canthaxanthin. 4.5 Residue on ignition shall not exceed 0.2% in case of Beta-Carotene, Beta-Apo- 8-Carotenal, Beta-Apo-8-Carotenoic acid and Canthaxan-thin. 4.6 The dye content in coloring matter determined spectrophotometrically shall not be less than 96% in case of Beta-Carotene, Beta-Apo-8-Carotenal, Beta- Apo-8-Carotenoic acid and Canthaxanthin when tested according to GS mentioned in 2.2. 4.7 Carrot oil shall contain no more than 25 ppm of hexan. 4.8 Lake may be used in coloring foodstuffs products. 4.9 No diluents or solvents shall be used with the coloring matter except the following materials: Water, glucose, lactose, sucrose, dextrose, starch, sorbitol, glycerol, edible fats and oils, bee wax, citric acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, pectin, beef gelatin, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, sodium sulphate, (sodium, potassium or ammonium) alginate, sodium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide propylene-glycol, ethyl acetates, acetic acid, and (glyceryl-mono, di, and triacetate) polysorbat 80. 4.10 The toxic mineral elements shall not exceed the following: Arsenic 3 ppm Lead 10 ppm Heavy metals 40 ppm 4.11 No coloring matter shall be added to the following food products: Nonprocessed (meat - birds - fish) processed (meat - birds - fish) (except what's mentioned in Table 3) - fresh fruits and vegetables - mineral water, milk without flavor (pasteurized - powdered - sterilized - fermented) - cream without flavor - olive oil - egg and egg products - flour - starch, bread - sugars - cocoa and row chocolate - coffee - tea - spices - foods for infants and children, honey except the following cases: 4.11.1 Official ink used for stamping the slaughtered animals with distinguishing marks. 4.11.2 Synthetic coloring of the fully ripe citrus fruits. 4.12 No natural or synthetic coloring matter shall be added to food products except those mentioned in Tables 1 and 2 in general, and coloring matter which are mentioned in Table 3 are permitted for use in certain foodstuffs only. 4.13 Synthetic coloring matter shall fulfill the characteristics specified in Table 4. In June 2011, the GCC Standards Committee decided not to implement the ban on E102 and E122. In 2010, Saudi Arabia banned the use of Red 2G in foodstuffs. Note that SFDA and GSO have removed E128 from allowable coloring matters used. As such, E128 is not allowed for use as a coloring matter in foodstuffs. Table I Permitted Natural Colors for Use in Foodstuffs in General (GSO 23/1998) Color EEC No. Notes Red to Yellow Shades 120 Cochineal, carminic Carmine acid Annatto extract 160B Bixin, Norbixin Beta-Carotene 160A Mixed carotene Lycopene 160D Beta-Apo-8-Carotenal 160E Beta-Apo-8-Carotenoic 160F Acid Lutein 161B Carrot oil - Beet root red 162 Betanine Red to Purple Shade Anthocyanine 163 Grape skin extract (Enocianina) Beet Powder - Paprika - Paprika Oleoresin 160C Orange and Yellow Dyes Saffron - Natural yellow 6 Turmeric Powder 100 Curcumin 100 Turmeric Oleoresin 100 Riboflavin 101(l) Riboflavin-5-Phosphate 101(II) Color EEC No. Notes Green Dyes Chlorophyllins Chlorophyll 140 Chlorophyll copper 141 complex Brown Dyes Plain caramel 150A Caustic sulphite caramel 150B Ammonia caramel 150C 150D Sulphite ammonia caramel Black Dyes 153 Activated vegetable carbon Inorganic Dyes White dye 6 Titanium dioxide 171 172 Iron oxides Table II Permitted Synthetic Colors for Use in Foodstuffs in General Color EEC No. Notes Red Colors Carmosine, Food Azorubine 122 Red 3 Allura Red (Food Red 17) 129 FD C Red 40 Yellow Colors Sunset Yellow FCF 110 Food yellow 3, Orange Tartrazine 102 Yellow S, FD and C Yellow No. 6 Food yellow 4, FD and C yellow No. 5 Brown Colors Chocolate brown HT Food brown 3 155 Green Colors 143 Fast green FCF FD and C Green No. 3 Food green 3 Blue Colors Indigotine 132 Indigo carmine, FD and C blue No. 2, Food blue 1 Brilliant Blue FCF 133 Food blue 2, FD and C blue No. 1 Black Colors Brilliant Black PN 151 Food black 1, Black PN * Volatile matter + chlorides and sulphates. Table 3 Coloring Matter Permitted for Use in Certain Foodstuffs EEC Color Foodstuffs Maximum No. Level 127 Erythrosine Cherries and its products - 128 Red 2G Sausages Flavored yoghurt 20 ppm 161G Canthaxanthin Cooked sausages 30 ppm Edible ices 100 ppm 173 Aluminium External coating of sugar confectionery for the GMP decoration of cakes and External coating of 174 Silver External coating of confectionery Ex GMP ternal coating of confectionery 175 Gold BK Ed GMP ible cheese surface 180 Lithotrubine Surfaces of frankfur GMP ters and sausages - Orange B 150 ppm - Citrus Red No. Skins of Orange 2 ppm 2 Table 4 Characteristics for Synthetic Colors Property Color Purity Volatile* Water Ether Subsidiary Dyes % % matter Insoluble Extract (Max.) (Min.) at 135°C % % % (Max.) (Max.) (Max.) Azorubine 85 15 0.2 0.2 2 Red 2 G 82 18 0.2 0.2 2 Sunset Yellow FCF 85 15 0.2 0.2 4 Tartrazine 85 15 0.2 0.2 1 Chocolate Brown Ht 80 20 - 0.2 15 Fast Green FCF 85 15 0.2 0.2 1 Indigotine 85 15 0.2 0.2 1 Brilliant Blue FCF 85 15 0.2 0.2 3 Brilliant Black PN 84 15 0.2 0.2 4 FD & C Red 40 85 14 0.2 - - * Volatile matter + chlorides and sulphates. 5- Sampling 5.1 A number of containers shall be selected randomly from each lot according to Table 5. Table 5 Number of Coloring Matter Containers Selected as Sample Lot size Number of selected containers 2 - 15 2 16 - 40 3 41 - 65 4 66 – 110 7 More than 110 10 5.2 Draw small quantities from different parts of each selected container and mix the portions as a composite sample whose weight shall not be less than 150 g. 5.3 Divide the composite sample to three equal parts. One of them for the purchaser, one for the vendor and the third shall be kept to be used arbitration in case of dispute between the purchaser and the vendor. 6- Methods of Test 6.1 Tests shall be carried out according to the Gulf Standard mentioned in item 2.2. 6.2 Necessary tests shall be carried out on the representative sample taken according to 5.1 to determine its compliance with this standard. 7- Packaging, Transportation and Storage The following shall be met on packaging, transportation and storage: 7.1 Packaging 7.1.1 Natural coloring matter shall be packed in dark-colored glass containers or any other suitable, firmly sealed hygienic containers under an inert gas as far as possible so as to avoid its contact with outer atmosphere or contamination. 7.1.2 Synthetic colors shall be packed in suitable firmly sealed hygienic containers so as to avoid its contact with outer atmosphere or contamination. 7.1.3 The containers shall be filled so that the minimum net content volume shall not be less than 90% from the water capacity of used container. 7.2 Transportation The containers shall be transported in such a way as to avoid their breakage or damage. 7.3 Storage The containers shall be stored in cold dry places, far away from sources of direct light and contamination. 8- Labeling 8.1 The following information shall be declared on the labels of food coloring matter containers: 8.1.1 The name of the coloring matter or EEC number. 8.1.2 Name of solvent or diluent. 8.1.3 Dye purity grade. 8.1.4 The statement "free from alcohol". 8.1.5 The statement "coloring matter for food". Gulf Standard GS 23/1998 8.1.6 The statement "Do not exposure to light" in case of coloring matter affected by light. 8.1.7 Dates of production and expiry. 8.1.8 Batch number 8.2 Without prejudice to what is mentioned in GS 9/1984 "Labeling of Prepackaged Foods". The following information shall be declared on labels of the food products containers which contain food coloring matter. Common name or EEC number. ANNEX 1 Permissible Daily Intake of the Coloring Matter Per Body Weight Color ADI mg/kg body Color ADI mg/kg body weight weight Annatto (determine as Bixin) 0.065 Iron oxides 0-0.5 Azorubine 0-4.0 Red 2G 0-0.1 Beta-Carotene 0-5 Riboflavin 0-0.5 Beta-Apo-8-Carotenal 0-5 Sunset yellow FCF 0-2.5 Beta-Apo-8-Carotenoic acid 0-5 Tartrazine 0-7.5 Beet powder - Titanium Dioxide - Brilliant black PN 0-1.0 FD & C Red 40 0-7.0 Brilliant blue FCF 0-12.5 Aluminium - Canthaxanthine 0-25 Anthocyanine 15 Caramel - Carrot oil - Caramel made by ammonium sulphite process 0-100 Chlorophyll - Chlorophyll copper complex 0-15 Chocolate brown HT 0-1.5 0-2.5 Turmeric 0-0.1 Curcumine 0-12.5 Fast green FCF - Gold 0-5 Indigotine A. Preservatives Permitted for Use in Food Products per Gulf Standard No. 356/1994 1- Scope and Field of Application This standard is concerned with preservatives permitted for use in food products. 2- Complementary References 2.1 GS 9/1995 ―Labeling of Prepackaged Foods‖. 3- Definition 3.1 Preservatives: Any additives which inhibit, or arrest decomposition of foodstuffs by micro-organism. 4- Requirements 4.1 No preservatives other than those mentioned in the Table, shall be used in food products. 4.2 Use of sulfite compounds is not permitted in fresh vegetables and fruits. 5- Sampling Samples shall be taken according to the methods prescribed in the relevant food product standard. 6- Methods of Test Tests shall be carried out according to the Gulf standard to be approved by the Organization on ―Methods of Test for Preservatives Used in Food Products‖. 7- Packaging Preservatives shall be packaged in suitable hygienic containers tightly sealed so as to prevent contact with outer atmosphere or contamination. 8- Labeling Without prejudice to the requirements of the Gulf standard mentioned in 2.1, the following information shall be declared in Arabic on food or preservatives containers: Common name or EEC number. 8.2 The statement ―Preservative for Use in Food Products‖ in case of preservatives containers. 9- Transportation and Storage 9.1 Containers shall be transported in such a way so as to avoid their breakage or damage. 9.2 Containers shall be stored in dry, cool places far away from sources of direct light and contamination. Antioxidants and Antioxidant Synergists Permitted For Use In Food Products (Gso-357) EEC No. Antioxidant 220 Sulphur dioxide 221 Sodium sulphite 222 Sodium bisulphate 223 Sodium metabisulphite 224 Potassium metabisulphite 226 Calcium sulphite 300 L-ascorbic acid 301 Sodium ascorbate 302 Calcium ascorbate 304 Ascorbyl palmitate 306 Tocopherol (from nature sources) 307 Alpha-tocopherol (synthetic) 308 Gamma-tocopherol (synthetic) 309 Delta-tocopherol (synthetic) 310 Propyl gallate 311 Octyl gallate 312 Dodecyl gallate 320 Butylated hydroxyanisole 321 Butylated hydroxy toluene 322 Lecithin - Isoascorbic acid (erythorbic) and its sodium salt - Tertiary butyl hydroquinone - Trihydroxy butrophenone - Thiodipropionic acid - 4-Hydroxymethyl 2-6 ditert butyl phenol - Guaiac resin (guaiac gum artificial) Permitted Antioxidant Synergists EEC No. Antioxidant Synergists 270 Lactic acid 325 Sodium lactate 326 Potassium lactate 327 Calcium lactate 330 Citric acid 331 Sodium citrate 332 Potassium citrate 333 Calcium citrate 334 Tartaric acid 335 Sodium tartrates 336 Potassium tartrates 337 Sodium potassium tartrate 338 Orthophosphoric acid 339 Sodium orthophosphate 340 Potassium orthophosphate 341 Calcium orthophosphate 472 Citric acid esters of mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids (citroglycerides) - Phosphoric acid 385 Ethylenediamine tetra-acetic calcium disodium Ethylenediamine tetra-acetic disodium - Labeling: Without prejudice to the requirements of the Gulf standard mentioned in 2.1. the following information shall be declared on food containers or antioxidant containers in Arabic: Common name or EEC number. The statement ―Antioxidant Permitted for Use in Foodstuffs‖ in case of antioxidant containers. Transportation and Storage The containers shall be transported in such a way as to avoid their breakage or damage. 9.2 Storage The containers shall be stored in dry, cool places far away from sources of direct light and contamination. D. GSO standard number 381, defines Emulsifiers, Stabilizers and Thickeners Permitted for use in Food Products as follows: Emulsifiers: Substances which, when added to a foodstuff, aid the formation of uniform dispersion of two or more immiscible substances. Stabilizers: Substances which, when added to a foodstuff, aid the maintenance of a uniform dispersion of two or more immiscible substances. Thickeners: Substances which, when added to a foodstuff, increase its viscosity. GSO requires that only emulsifiers stabilizers and thickeners mentioned in Table (1) below should be used only with food products. E.E.C No. Name 322 Lecithins 339 Sodium orthophosphates — monosodium dihydrogen phosphates — disodium monohydrogen phosphates 340 — trisodium phosphates Potassium orthophosphates 341 — monopotassium dihydrogen phosphates — dipotassium monohydrogen phosphates — tripotassium phosphates, 400 401 Calcium orthophosphates — monocalcium tetrahydrogen diphosphates 402 — monocalcium monohydrogen phosphates — tricalcium diphosphates 403 Alginic acid Sodium alginate. 404 Potassium alginate. Ammonium alginate 405 Calcium alginate Propane-1,2-diol alginate (Glycol propalin alginate). 406 Agar. Carrageenan 407 Locust bean gum. 410 Ghatti gum — Guar gum Tragacanth. Acacia. 412 Xanthan gum.. 413 414 415 Table (1) Continued) E.E.C No. Name 416 Karaya gum. 420 Sorbitol, sorbitol syrup. 421 Mannitol. 422 Glycerol. 430 Polyoxyethylene (8) stearate. 432 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monolaurate. 433 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan mono-palmitate. 434 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan mono-stearate. 435 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan tri stearate. — Polyoxyethylene (8) sorbitan tri-stearate. 436 Polyoxyethylene (40) stearate. — Pectin. 440 A Amidated pectin. 440 B Ammonium salts of phosphatic acid. 442 Diphosphates 450 Sodium and potassium polyphosphates. 450 A Diphosphates --disodium dihydrogen diphosphate --trisodium monohydrogen diphosphate -- tetrasodium diphosphate --tetrapotassium diphosphate. 450 B— Triphosphates -- pentasodium triphosphates 450 C — pentapotassium triphosphates. 460 Polyphosphates. 461 Micro crystalline cellulose. 463 Methylcellulose. 464 Hydroxypropyl cellulose. 465 Hydroxypropyl methycellulose. Ethylmethylcellulose. Table (1) Continued) E.E.C No. Name 466 Carboxymethylcellulose. 470 Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids. 471 Mono - and di-glycerides of fatty acids. 472 A Acetic acid esters of mono-and di-glycerides of fatty acids. 472 B Lactic acid esters of mono-and di-glycerides of fatty acids. 472 C Citric acid esters of mono-and di-glycerides of fatty acids. 472 D Tartaric acid esters of mono-and di-glycerides of fatty acids. 472 E Mono-and di-acetyltartaric acid esters of mono-and di-glycerides of fatty acids. Mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono-and di-glycerides of fatty acids. 472 F Sucrose esters of fatty acids. 473 Sucroglycerides. 474 Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids. 475 Polyglycerol polyricinoleate. 476 Propane-1,2-doil of esters of fatty acid. 477 Esters of glycerol apd thermally oxidized soybean fatty acids. 479 Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate. 480. Sodium stearol -2- lactylate. 481 Calcium stearoyl -2- lactylate. 482 Stearyl tartrate. 483 Sorbitan monostearate
Posted: 23 January 2012

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