What Risk Will Have with "No Sucrose" or "No Added Sucrose" in China? / by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

There are many products on the market that want to promote "no sucrose" or "no added sucrose." It is considered that such claims are more likely to be favored by consumers. Are there any regulations for “no sucrose” or “no added sucrose” in Chinese food labels? What are the risks?

Many products that want to make this claim are generally the following: If the product does not contain sucrose, can it be declared "no sucrose" or "no added sucrose"? If there is no sucrose in the product ingredients, and the other ingredients added have natural sweetness/sugar, the sucrose in the product can be detected (the amount detected is very low), which can claim “no sucrose” or “no added sucrose” ?

(1) What are the relevant standards?

Q&A (General Regulations for Nutrition Labelling of Prepackaged Foods) (GB 28050-2011) Article 58: Content Claims: The content claims of this standard refer to claims that describe the level of energy or nutrients in foods, such as “ Contains terms such as "," "high," "low," or "none." The nutrients listed in Table C.1 of Appendix C can be claimed and should meet the requirements. “Sucrose” is not included in the nutrient range listed in Table C.1 of Appendix C, so it is not recommended to claim “no sucrose”. In addition, according to some popular science articles by domestic experts, it is claimed that no sugar is a concept of sugar-free, and it is not good for the brand image.

(2) Trends in national regulation: The new GB7718 consultation draft clearly stipulates that the pre-packaged food label must not use wordings such as “do not add” or “do not use” for all ingredients. If it is specified in other laws, regulations or national food safety standards, it shall be prescribed. Therefore it is not recommended to claim “no added sucrose”.

(3) Relevant litigation cases: There are many cases of counterfeiting in China that claim “no sugar” and “no added sugar”. The claim is a key concern of the counterfeiters. If it claims that there is a big risk, it will bring great Economic loss.

Regardless of whether the product contains no sucrose or the sucrose is 0, it is not recommended to declare “no sucrose” or “no sucrose added”. If you want to make some positive related claims, the proposal can claim "low sugar", provided that it meets the requirements of "low sugar" in GB 28050.

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