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China to get new regulations on food packaging from January 2013

China is set to enforce new food packaging regulations from 1 January 2013. The regulations will help consumers to identify a product's nutritional structure and ingredients straight away and will provide standard nutritional information on food packaging labels.

As part of the regulations, the packaging should contain labels pertaining to content of four kinds of nutritional elements including protein, fat, carbohydrate and sodium as well as the calorie count.

As the country faces a severe situation of chronic non-communicable diseases, the information on the packages will help consumers avoid the intake of unhealthy elements, such as saturated fat and cholesterol, and increase the ingestion of dietary fibers.

Food manufacturers are encouraged to follow the regulations before 2013, but the entire food industry should execute the regulations with regard to food packaging, after 1 January 2013.

Initially, the regulations were devised in 2007 and will now lay down specific rules on labeling other nutritional content, names and functions.