New agreement targets food ingredient quality in U.S., China

June 23, 2010

Recognizing the importance of ensuring that food ingredients of assured quality are made available to the public, the National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety-Chinese Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (NINFS) and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing potential areas of collaboration. USP is a non-governmental scientific organization based in the United States that sets standards for the quality of medicines, dietary supplements, and food ingredients. Standards published in USP’s Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) cover food ingredients including colorings, flavorings, nutrients, preservatives, and processing aids.

“Consumers are increasingly consuming foods composed of a host of ingredients such as colorings and preservatives—and these ingredients are produced all over the world,” said Roger L. Williams, USP Chief Executive Officer. “Given this reality, ensuring the quality of these ingredients requires global cooperation. We look forward to working together with NINFS on scientific and standards-setting activities that will result in a better food supply for citizens of both countries—and the world.”

The agreement was signed in Beijing by Yan Weixing, Director General of NINFS, and USP’s Roger Williams. Potential areas of collaboration include:

  • Scientific staff exchange between USP and NINFS.
  • Translation of individual FCC ingredient standards into Chinese as a reference, as appropriate, in the development of Chinese food additive standards.
  • Advances in the development and validation of analytical procedures and technology as well as development of reference standards for the procedures in food additive/food ingredient specifications.
  • Joint or coordinated efforts to offer scientific training, conferences, and workshops on topics of mutual interest.
  • Appointment of NINFS representatives to participate in USP’s Expert Committees and/or Expert Panels, as appropriate.
  • Development of standards, best practices, and other approaches for improvements relating to packaging and nutrition.

Following the MOU signing, the two groups will form a Joint Executive Committee that will designate working groups to explore and prioritize future activities.

Press release