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sandrafischer.jpgIt’s hard to believe May is already upon us and that winter is just around the corner. 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year as the AsureQuality team continues to work on a number of projects that will directly benefit our customers.

Our Food and Dairy team has been continuing with the critical work we do alongside our industry partners. It's an incredibly busy time with changes to the Food Act and the on-going growth in the Dairy sector.

The Horticulture Inspection and Audit teams are in full swing as harvest and packing is well underway in a number of areas. The impact of the recent bad weather is being assessed as to its effect on crop yields and quality.

With the peak season well under way, the On-farm team is busy with high volumes of TB testing, Farm Dairy Assessments, farm assurance and meat inspection.
We hope you enjoy the update, and as always, welcome your feedback. If you need further information on any of the topics covered please do not hesitate to contact me (email).



In this edition:
China Infant Formula: CFDA Drafts Provisions for Labeling and Stability Research for Infant Formula Recipe Registration

In January this year China CFDA released two supplementary documents relating to infant formula recipe registration.  These were the “Technical Guidance for Labelling of Infant Formula Recipe Registration” and “Technical Guidance for Stability Research of Infant Formula Recipe Registration”. The period for public consultation ended on 20 February 2017.

The requirements on contents and format of infant formula labelling, as well as the prohibited labelling items have been detailed in the draft regulation. As required in “Items and Requirements of Application Materials for Registration of Infants and Young Children Milk Powder Formula Recipes (Trial)”, stability research results of all infant formula packaging specifications should be included into the product R&D report, and submitted to CFDA during the registration application to prove the scientificity and safety of the formula. The research method mainly includes influencing the factor trial, acceleration trial and long-term trial.

2017 A Year of Reform for Chinese Infant Formula Market

In 2016, 10 policies and notices were released to strengthen regulation of infant formula in China. The most significant change was the release of infant formula recipe registration and its supplementary documents (dossier preparation and on-site inspection), which were all finalised in 2016. Supplementary measures to support preparation of registration, establishment of a traceability system and standardisation of infant formula labels were also released. The CFDA also plans to increase inspection frequency and stringency.

China Health Food: CFDA Releases Health Food Filing Guidance

In February this year, China CFDA drafted a 2017 version of “Detailed Rules for Health Food Filing Application”, which was open for public consultation until 28 February 2017. This guidance mainly outlines the filing procedure, and requirements for filing dossiers for both domestic and imported health foods.

This guidance is applicable to health foods that are required to be filed in accordance with Administrative Measures for Registration and Filing of Health Foods. As the first batch of approved health food raw materials has been finalised, the CFDA has announced that health food filing application will start to be accepted from 1 May 1, 2017 (see CL news report on Jan. 25, 2017).

China CFDA Releases Health Food Registration Guidance

In December 2016, China CFDA released the 2016 version of “Guidance for Health Food Registration Application”.  This includes detailed explanations on health food registration dossier requirements under the new health food regulatory system as specified in “Administrative Measures for Registration and Filing of Health Foods”.

This Guidance specifies heath food registration procedures for both domestic and imported health food, which is applicable to health foods which use new raw materials, and health foods imported for the first time (excluding nutrient supplements).

For more information on our China updates, please contact Keith Zhang (email) our Business Development Manager - China, International Services.


A new test for bovine lactoferrin in nutritional formulas is now available at our Auckland laboratory. The method uses the ELISA technique, has a limit of quantitation down to 5mg/100g, and provides greater accuracy, precision, linearity and specificity than previous methods.

The test will go through the IANZ audit process June / July this year. However, because the laboratory is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 and all testing conducted by the laboratory is in compliance with the accredited quality systems, there is no difference between accredited and non-accredited tests in terms of the quality of results.

The enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test method is a perfect tool to quantify the concentration of lactoferrin during production, and control the end products by producers as well as regulators.

The ELISA method is very specific to bovine lactoferrin and is not designed to quantify lactoferrin from other species such as human, sheep, goat and other milk producing mammals. Further work to extend the scope of the method to cover colostrum powder and liquid milk, including flavoured and fortified milks, will resume later this month.

The test code for the Lactoferrin test is NT-LACT01 v01 and Kristoph Cave (email) is the key contact for testing queries. Technical queries from customers can be directed to our scientist Gordana Prijic (email) or George Joseph (email).
New course now available: Introduction to the Prevention of Food Fraud’
At AsureQuality we understand that food safety can be complicated and challenging, and if things go wrong the consequences can be serious.

Take food fraud for example. There is no doubt this has been on the rise in recent years, most likely linked to the increase in global trade and food prices around the world. It’s a growing concern because it poses serious threats to business as well as creating public health risks. Recent cases have highlighted the need for the food industry to protect consumers through the detection of food fraud across its supply chains.

Now is an important time to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to differentiate various forms of food fraud, and to understand how to carry out a risk assessment and apply control measures on your supply chain. 
To help you, AsureQuality has developed a new course ‘Introduction to the prevention of food fraud’ which includes how to do a vulnerability assessment and gives an outline of different supplier standard requirements.  It’s currently being run in both Auckland and Christchurch but can also be held at your own premises.
This course is designed for anyone who is involved with preventing food fraud activities at their workplace and covers types and examples of food fraud, regulatory requirements, how to carry out a vulnerability statement and how to complete a risk assessment, among other things.

For more information please head to our website or call the Training team on 0508 00 11 22. 


Following the recent discontinuation and subsequent withdrawal of TECRA™ from the market, AsureQuality will now be using the SOLUS SCIENTIFIC ELISA kits as replacement technology for Salmonella and Listeria testing. Manufactured in the UK to world class quality standards, Solus Scientific technology is robust and proven. All Solus Pathogen ELISA tests have AOAC and AFNOR approval.

We have already gained IANZ accreditation for the use of Solus Salmonella™ and Solus Listeria™ at our Auckland laboratory, and the Christchurch laboratory is in the final phase of accreditation. Both laboratories will commence using the new testing method in April 2017.

For more information about our new pathogen testing method, please contact Warwick Aspin (email) our Technical Manager, Auckland Laboratory.


With the increasing amounts of dairy products exported to China, we are seeing a rise in examples of non-compliance. The reason for this is that with some of the standard microbiological tests that are conducted on dairy export products, differences in methodology between the Chinese GB standard methods, and methods commonly used to test product produced in New Zealand may be significant enough to produce different results.

One example is the aerobic plate count (APC) that is commonly tested on many dairy products following internationally recognised ISO methodology. For the ISO method the inoculated plates are incubated at 30oC for three days, whereas the GB method for the same APC test requires plates to be incubated at 36oC for two days. There are also differences in the agar medium used for these two versions of the APC test. A combination of temperature and time and agar differences can result in some bacteria being able to grow under one set of test conditions but not the other, potentially leading to significantly different counts being recorded between the two methods.

Examples of such difference in counts have been observed in samples tested in our AsureQuality laboratories, with the same product being classified as passing or failing specification limits depending on which methodology was used.

To ensure that product intended for the Chinese market meets specification requirements, it is therefore recommended that samples should be tested by both GB and non-GB methods in parallel. We are able to offer a range of IANZ accredited GB methods to allow such parallel testing to be performed. (Refer link).
We'd love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and what topics you would like us to cover in future editions, so please contact us and let us know.

AsureQuality Limited
7a Pacific Rise, Mt Wellington, Auckland
Private Bag 14946, Panmure, Auckland 1741
Telephone: +64 9 573 8000 Facsimile: +64 9 573 8001 Freephone: 0508 00 11 22 Freefax: 0508 00 11 33