CHINA – China is taking significant steps to enhance governance over its thriving dairy industry by introducing specific standards to regulate various types of milk available on supermarket shelves.

The demand for dairy products has been rapidly increasing in the country, with major brands like Yili and Mengniu playing crucial roles in shaping the industry.

The government has heightened scrutiny of dairy products through initiatives such as the ‘Excellent Milk’ project, which closely monitors quality and safety improvements.

The National Health Commission (NHC) is now seeking public input to update standards and policies for three types of milk found in local supermarkets: high-temperature pasteurized milk, pasteurized milk, and sterilized milk.

Revisions aligning with the local Food Safety Law cover 21 food and beverage items, including updates for pasteurized and sterilized milk, and the formulation of new standards for high-temperature pasteurized milk, reflecting its growing popularity in the Chinese market.

High-temperature pasteurized milk, also known as Extended Shelf Life (ESL) milk, differs in pasteurization temperature and duration from regular pasteurized milk.

It is heated to a higher temperature for a shorter time compared to pasteurized milk, and it differs from UHT milk, which is processed at an even higher temperature for a shorter duration.

Under the proposed standards, manufacturers have been given processing options to classify their products under the high-temperature pasteurized milk category.

Guidelines suggest treatments such as 115°C for 20 seconds, 120°C for 15 seconds, or 130°C for two seconds.

The updated national standards for pasteurized and sterilized milk, last revised in 2010, are now open for public comment until February 10, 2024, through the National Food Safety Standards Management Information System.

The draft includes specific guidelines for various types of animal milks, considering factors like fat content, protein, non-fat milk solids, acidity, and adherence to strict testing methods and guidelines.

The move underscores China’s commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of dairy products, aligning with the evolving preferences and demands of its growing consumer base. T

The public, including industry players and consumers, are invited to submit feedback on the proposed standards, reflecting the government’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity in the regulatory process.

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