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Labelling Requirements in Malaysia

Food Labelling Guidelines in Malaysia

Consumers often compare items based on the food label as it helps us choose. The food label is one of the most valuable tools we as consumers have as we would like to know what we are paying for. Having food labelling regulations for manufacturers to adhere would steer away from consumers’ confusion.

According to Food Labelling Guidelines (Section IV of Malaysia Food Regulations 1985), the requirements for labeling of food are as followed:

  1. Language to be used
    1. In the case of food produced, prepared or packaged in Malaysia, be in Bahasa Malaysia, and in either case may include translation thereof in any other language.; or
    2. In the case of imported food, be in Bahasa Malaysia or English, and in either case may include translation thereof in any other language.
  2. Product name
    1. A description of food containing the common name of its principal ingredients, for example: Apple Juice.
    2. In the case of mixed or blended food, the label shall indicate the contents are mixed or blended, for example: mixed pomegranate and mangosteen fruit juice.
  3. Additional statement below the product name (if applicable)
    1. For food contains beef or pork or its derivatives, or lard, a statement as following shall be stated:
      “CONTAINS (state whether beef or pork, or its derivatives, or lard)” or in other words to this effect.
    2. For food contains added alcohol, a statement shall be stated in capital bold-faced lettering of a non-serif character not smaller than 6 points, in the form as following:
      “CONTAINS ALCOHOL” or in any other words to this effect.
  4. Ingredient listing (mandatory if contains 2 or more ingredients)
    1. Ingredients shall be declared in descending order of proportion by weight.
    2. For food contains edible fat or edible oil or both, the common name of the animal or vegetable of such fat or oil is derived shall be specified.
  5. Hypersensitivity labelling
    1. Food product or ingredient known to cause hypersensitivity shall be declared on the label are as following:
      • Cereal containing gluten, i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oat
      • Tree nut and nut products including peanut and soybean
      • Fish and fish products
      • Milk and milk products (lactose included)
      • Egg and egg products
  6. Additive statement
    1. For food contains food additive, a statement shall be state on the label in the form:
      “contains permitted (state the type of the relevant food additive)”
    2. For food contains food conditioner, a statement shall be state on the label in the form:
      “contains permitted (state the type of the relevant food conditioner)”
  7. Net weight or volume or number of the content must be clear on the package
  8. Name and address of manufacturer/ importer/ Country of Origin
    1. For food locally manufactured or packed, the following shall be declared on the label:
      • Name and address of the manufacture/ packer/ the owner of the rights of the manufacture or packing.
    2. For imported food, the following shall be declared on the label:
      • Name and address of the manufacture/ packer/ the owner of the rights of the manufacture or packing or the agent.
      • Name and address of the importer in Malaysia
      • Country of origin
  9. Date marking
    1. Food requiring date marking (as specified in the Fifth Schedule) are:
      • Biscuit, bread
      • Canned food for infants and children
      • Cereal-based food for infants and children
      • Chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate
      • Coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut paste, coconut cream powder and desiccated coconut
      • Edible fat and edible oil other than margarine in hermetically sealed containers
      • Fish ball or fish cake
      • Food additives with a shelf life of less than 18 months
      • Infant formula
      • Liquid egg, liquid egg yolk, liquid egg white, dried egg, dried egg yolk, and dried egg white
      • Low energy form of any food which requires date marking
      • Meat product in non-hermetically sealed containers
      • Milk and milk product other than ice cream which is less than 200 ml in volume and hard cheese
      • Non-carbonated pasteurized soft drink and non-carbonated U.H.T. soft drink
      • Nutrient supplement or preparation of nutrient supplement sold as food
      • Pasteurized fruit juice
      • Pasteurized vegetable juice
      • Peanut butter
      • Sauce
      • Seri Kaya
      • Special purpose food
    2. The expiry date in respect of any food shall be shown in one of the following forms:
      • EXPIRY DATE or EXP DATE (here insert the date, expressed in day, month and year or in month and year)
      • USE BY (here insert the date, expressed in day, month and year or in month and year)
      • CONSUME BY or CONS BY (here insert the date, expressed in day, month and year or in month and year)
      • BEST BEFORE or BEST BEF (here insert the date, expressed in day, month and year or in month and year)
    3. The date marking shall be in capital bold-faced lettering of a non-serif character not smaller than 6 point.
  10. Illustration
    1. Only illustrating recipes involving the use of the food or suggestions on how to serve the food may be included in the label.
  11. Serving suggestion statement
    1. The illustrating recipes shall be accompanied with the words “RECIPE” or “SERVING SUGGESTION” or other words of similar meaning, stated in not less than 6 points lettering.
  12. Nutrition labeling and claims
    1. For guidelines of nutrition labeling and claims, refer to Guide to Nutrition Labelling and Claims (as at December 2010).
  13. Statement if Bifidobacteria is added

Source: Garis Panduan Am Pelabelan Makanan (Bahagian IV, Peraturan-Peraturan Makanan 1985). Retrieved from Food Safety and Quality Division.

 

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