Before your product hits the shelves, you need to make sure your label has no forbidden claims.
However, not many sellers are concerned about the labelling rules.
Before KKM comes to pay you a visit, you need to take note of the claims forbidden on your product label.
Claims on Food Labels
Of course, you want to sell your product well and one way is by putting food product claims on your label.
This includes health claims such as ‘Rich in Vitamin C’, ‘Cures indigestion, and the like. However, you shouldn’t do so lightly.
This news article mentions that premise owners who failed to comply with any provision of the Food Regulations 1985 could be fined up to RM10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding two years if convicted.
What labeling term is not allowed to be on a label?
Anyone can design a sticker label and sell food on the market. But, your premises may be visited by the authorities that checks whether you’re following the rules.
So before you’re caught red handed, you better follow the set regulations carefully. Here are the listed forbidden food product claims stated in the Food Regulations 1985 (Regulation 18).
List of forbidden claims on food product labels
- Quality of Product
- Purity of Product
- ‘Health’ claim
- Claim of Absence
- Nutrient Claims
- Curing Disease Claims
- Claims that Raises Doubt
- Organic Claims on Products
- Nutritious Claim
Quality of Product
Every seller wants to promote their product quality. But, it is not that easy.
Any words that indicate the grade, quality, or superiority of the product cannot be on any label. However, you can if the claim has been approved by relevant authorities.
These are a few examples of claims of product quality that need approval beforehand:
Purity of Product
Consumers these days are wary of processed foods more than ever. Which is why sellers use the claim ‘Pure’ in hopes to convince them.
What sellers don’t know is that this claim such as ‘100% Pure’, ‘Pure Fruit Extract’, or any words of similar meaning must be checked first.
You can use the ‘pure’ claim so long as your product is free from any added substance except those essential in processing.
The Regulations do not allow any health claim on food label to have the words ‘compounded’, ‘medicated’, ‘tonic’, or ‘health’ or any similar wordings.
Product Claim of Absence
It is known that any foods that have beef, pork, lard, and alcohol MUST clearly state so on the label.
However, products without the mentioned foods should not claim in their absence.
The Regulations permit products to have nutrient claims as long as it follows the requirements from the Fifth A Schedule.
But, stating that the food will provide an adequate source of all essential nutrients is forbidden. Sellers must also note that labels should not imply that consuming a variety of foods can’t supply enough nutrients.
Curing Disease Claims
It is without a doubt that some foods can help cure or heal conditions. Nonetheless, the claim that the product can prevent, alleviate, treat, or cure a disease, disorder, or particular condition is NOT allowed.
Claims that Raises Doubt
Another forbidden claim is matters that could raise doubt in a consumer about the safety of similar food or words that exploit fear.
Organic Claims on Products
Similar to the quality claim, no label should describe food as ‘organic’, ‘biological’, ‘ecological’, ‘biodynamic’, or any similar words.
These claims are only allowed if the product fits the requirements of Malaysian Standards MS 1529: The Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Plant-Based Organically Produced Foods.
Consumers nowadays are very health-conscious and are always looking for nutritious foods. However, sellers can only use the ‘nutritious’ claim if it has the following:
- a range of nutrients including carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamin, and mineral.
- substantial amount of energy of more than 40 kcal per 100 g or 20kcal per 100 ml.
- a source of protein not less than 5 g per 100 g or 2.5 g per 100 ml
- at least four vitamins of an amount that meets the criteria for claim as a source and two minerals (excluding sodium) of an amount that meets the criteria for claim as a source.
- amount of the nutrients mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (d) is declared.
How to Safely Sell Products with the Right Claims
These forbidden claims can seem quite technical and need further research to actually label your product correctly.
We understand that it might not be a priority for you at the moment, but you will need a compliant label sooner than you think.
So why not make it right the first time with us? We design food labels that follow the Food Regulations 1985 so you can skip the struggle.
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This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Please opt for a one-to-one consultation with us or a relevant professional for your specific concerns regarding food business solutions in Malaysia before making any decisions.