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Guide offers help to companies keen on cracking Asia

Companies looking to break into the Asian market for nutritional products are being offered help in the form of a new guide published by nutrition policy consultancy EAS.

'Marketing health supplements, fortified and functional foods in Asia: Practice 2008/2009' covers 10 countries in the region and is designed to help nutritional product manufacturers navigate Asia's regulatory maze.

The guide gives an up-to-date analysis of national rules relating to health supplements, fortified and functional foods. It also covers the addition of vitamins and minerals to food and food supplements and herbs and other functional ingredients.

Also addressed are health claims in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Brunei.

"Our research has shown that the functional food markets in the US, Western Europe and the Asia Pacific was estimated to be worth more than US$70 billion dollars in 2007, with an expected annual growth rate of around 5.5% — and 40% of this market is from the Asia Pacific region," said Wei Wen Lim, EAS senior adviser and one of the authors of the guide.

"Our guide gives companies the necessary information to understand the existing and emerging legislative regulatory frameworks in the Asian markets, so that their regulatory strategies ensure the commercial success of their products."

In addition to detailing the regulatory requirements across the selected Asian countries, the guide gives an explanation of the current regulatory environment in Asia, including labelling, claims and novel food requirements, an overview of the health harmonisation process within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and insight into the activities of Codex Alimentarius.

For more information about the guide, visit

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