FOOD SAFETY

Kenya adopts new standards to safeguard food products

It will facilitate trade, ensure safe and sufficient food for a growing economy.

In Summary

• Kebs' Managing Director Bernard Njiraini said that the newly approved standards will provide a basis to ascertain the quality, purity, and safety of the food additives.

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

Kebs managing director Benard Njiraini.
Kebs managing director Benard Njiraini.
Image: COURTESY

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has adopted five new standards to boost the safety and quality of food additives in the market.

Kebs' Managing Director Bernard Njiraini said that the newly approved standards will provide a basis to ascertain the quality, purity, and safety of the food additives.

“The newly approved standards will provide a basis to ascertain the quality, purity, and safety of the food additives which is important, as the first step to ensure safe use as guided by General Standard for Food additives,” Njiraini said.

Njiraini said that 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,” he said.

According to Kebs, the 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.

The use of nonnutritive sweeteners for special dietary purposes in both foods and beverages (soft drinks) has increased in recent years resulting in high volumes of their trade.

This set of standards are the first in the priority list for food additives based on the 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 thus further assuring consumers of the quality and safety of what they consume,” Njiraini added.

It is expected that the standards will be used by stakeholders in the food industry including the quality assurance departments, industry, and laboratories.

This is also expected to boost local businesses and the government agenda of increasing the manufacturing of local products for economic growth.