Polina Semyonova, CEO of the Union of Food Ingredient Manufacturers shared her view on this situation and talked about the perspectives for food ingredient production support.
The problem with the production of food additives has reached the national level. Currently, Russian manufacturers produce a very short list of food additives for food processing industry, pharmaceutical industry, cosmetics industry and other peace-time industries. This product group highly depends on the import, while food ingredients are an integral part of the modern food technologies and play an important role in the food industry, particularly in terms of safety and preservation of consumer-oriented characteristics of food, because they are included in most foods from Russian basic diet. Russian Ministry of Agriculture created an interagency working group in order to solve the problem with the import substitution of food additives.
The solution to this problem has reached the national level
We positively evaluate the fact that the problem with food ingredient production development has reached the national level. Our Union has been discussing the necessity of domestic food ingredient production development and recovery for some time now on different events and almost in all departments and government agencies of the Russian Federation – in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare, the Ministry of Economic Development, etc. The problem of food ingredient production development in Russia is complicated and requires a complex approach to the solution of sometimes completely different tasks in the production and scientific areas, in the areas of certification, confirmation of compliance, market turnover order and many more.
We would like to point out that the production of the basic groups of modern foods, both traditional and functional (enriched), baby and diet foods is impossible without the use of microingredients: food additives, flavors, technological processing aids, physiologically functional ingredients and a wide range of raw components. The safety and quality of raw and food microingredients, commercial distribution and conformity assessment in the Russian Federation and EAEU is regulated by the national and international legislation which is one of the strictest legislations in the world in terms of the regulation of use of food additives and GMO. The regulation requirements are recognized in the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union and harmonized with EU regulations and Codex Alimentarius.
The list of food additives regulated by the Technical Regulation of the Customs Union ТР ТС 029/2012 for the use in production of foods in Russia and the members of the Customs Union and EAEU includes 352 items, 7 of which are without the “E” index, not including the complex food additives, the number of which is constantly increasing. For the record, in some countries like the US, China, etc., the lists of allowed additives include more than 500–700 items.
The use of each food additive is regulated by specific normative documents which undergo an expert examination by the Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare and the Institute of Nutrition in Russia. Those government agencies don’t allow any unhealthy substances to be used in food industry!
Generally, the statement that the foods without microingredients with Е index are healthier is disputable because it doesn’t take into account the health risks related to the final product premature deterioration (oxidative, microbiological deterioration, including pathogenic microorganisms, opportunistic pathogens, etc.) with subsequent nutritional diseases.
The food additives are an innovative tool that ensures a consistent quality of foods. This category of raw materials ensures the optimization and intensification of production technologies, while its professional use allows the manufacturers to ensure safety and guarantee the preservation of consumer-oriented characteristics during the entire product life cycle.
The range and production volumes of food additives in the Russian Federation and worldwide have significantly changed in the past 25 years, as well as the geography of food additive production. The center of food microingredient production has moved from Europe and North America to China where the production volumes increase by 10% each year, while in USA they increase by no more than 3%, and in Europe – by less than 1%.