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China tightens supervision of cocoa industry

Updated: 2013-10-29 19:57
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - The supervision of cocoa businesses will be increased amid health concerns relating to the use of powdered shells instead of cocoa powder in food products.

Supervision over the use of imported cocoa shells as well as manufacturers of cocoa products and foodstuff containing cocoa powder as an ingredient will be intensified, according to a circular jointly released Tuesday by China Food and Drug Administration and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Some manufacturers had used powdered cocoa shells as a replacement for cocoa during food processing to lower costs, raising sanitation and food quality concerns, the circular said.

According to the circular, importers of cocoa shells for industrial or other use should specify the purposes in Chinese-language labels or related documents and provide full tracking records of cocoa shell sales.

The circular called for strict checks on production permits of cocoa product manufacturers, as well as supervision of manufacturers of cocoa-related food products.

The circular also urged local food, product quality and quarantine authorities to jointly check cocoa products and related food companies for safety risks and alert superior departments of any issues.