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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Kenya Adopts New Standards to Safeguard Food Products for Consumers

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The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has adopted five (5) new standards to boost the safety and quality of food additives in the market. These are:

  1. KS EAS 993:2020 Baking Powder – Specification
  2. KS EAS 994:2020 Food grade Sucralose (INS 955) – Specification
  3. KS EAS 995:2020 Food Grade Saccharin (INS 954) – Specification
  4. KS EAS 996:2020 Food grade Aspartame (INS 951) – Specification
  5. KS EAS 997:2020 Baker’s yeast – Specification

“The newly approved standards will provide a basis to ascertain the quality, purity and safety of the food additives which is important, as first step to ensure safe use as guided by the General Standard for Food additives. As a matter of fact, the use of food additives in food processing is technologically unavoidable with emphasis on justifiable safe use hence the need to establish quality and safety specification standards. This will facilitate trade while ensuring safe and sufficient food for a growing economy,” says Ltd. Col. (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, Kenya Bureau of Standards.

Demand for food additives has increased within the food industry creating the need for specifications to be formulated for commonly used additives to determine their quality and safety. In particular, the use of nonnutritive sweeteners for special dietary purposes in both foods and beverages (soft drinks) has increased in the recent years resulting in high volumes of their trade. These set of standards are the first in the priority list for food additives based on volume of use both in Kenya and the East Africa region thus facilitating trade.

The Standards provides the criteria to determine the purity, safety and quality parameters for baker’s yeast, sucralose, aspartame, saccharin and baking powder.

“Food additives will also be produced, prepared and handled in accordance with code of practice for hygiene in the food industry which lays emphasis to both Good Manufacturing Practice and use of food safety systems such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), thus further assuring consumers of the quality and safety of what they consume,” Mr. Njiraini adds.

It is expected that the standards will be used by stakeholders in the food industry including Quality assurance departments, industry and laboratories. Additionally, they will also boost local businesses and the government agenda of increasing manufacturing of local products for economic growth.

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