Turkey set to put strict rules on labelling in bid to protect consumers
Hacer Boyacıoğlu-ANKARATurkey’s Food, Agriculture, and Livestock Ministry has prepared a labelling directory that explains the definitions and prohibitions that can be used on food labels, in a bid to minimize deceptive labels that mislead consumers.
According to the directory, the words “real” and “genuine” cannot be used on food labels. It will take at least 30 years to call a product “traditional” after its launch.
This way the ministry aims to minimize the misinformation of consumers when shopping.
All points to take into consideration on food labels were explained with a number of examples in the directory, which was prepared by General Directorate of Food and Control. While there are explanations like “pure honey” and “real fruit/fruity,” “genuine ice cream” cannot be used on labels. In order to call a product “traditional” it needs to be produced in the same way for at least 30 years.
According to the directory, any image which evokes butter cannot be used on the labels of margarines. If any vegetable or fruit image is used on the label of a food which is made completely out of flavors, a stamp saying the product is “aromatized” must be issued on the package. Also, if “milk and its derivatives” are not used in making an edible ice mixed food, cow images cannot be used on these foods’ labels.
If a pastry’s dough is not kneaded by hand but the dough is rolled thin by hand, the “handmade” explanation can be used. However, if grape leaves are stuffed with rice through a machine, this description cannot be used.
Any “farm-type yoghurt,” “village-type yoghurt,” “village yoghurt” or “farm yoghurt” statements cannot be used on labels anymore to define factory-produced strained yoghurt. However, the statements which explain foods’ specific characteristics like its taste and cooking methods, such as “Mexican Chicken” or “Edirne Fried Liver,” can be used in the labels.
While the “homemade” statement cannot be used for any processed foods, any statements like “with a homemade taste” or “with the touch of a mother’s hand” can be used.
“Fresh” can only be used for products that are genuinely fresh. This definition can be used in labels on fresh fruit salads which are produced only with fresh fruits, fresh milk goods with a very short shelf-life and also for non-pasteurized beer. For pasteurized milk, the statement “pasteurized fresh drinking milk” can be used but for any UHT or sterilized milk “fresh” cannot be used.
Additionally, “fresh cheese” must be used for “Quark.” If there is soy sauce in Turkish type ravioli, this must be stated with capital letters. Lastly, when a food includes more than 2 percent trans-fat, the nutrition notification about its existence is obligatory.