Upcoming changes in the Hungarian Food Book

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2024. 03. 02. 19:41

Trade magazin has asked deputy state secretary Dr Beáta Olga Felkai about the upcoming changes in the Hungarian Food Book: “The Hungarian Food Book is a collection of legislation, some made by implementation of mandatory legal acts of the EU and other regulations are established under national competence.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/4

 The first demand for quality regulations and standards was brought about by the industrialization of food production in the second half of the 19th century. In the 1960s the FAO and WHO jointly established the Codex Alimentarius, international system for food standards, guidelines and codes of practice. The development of these rules served as guidance for food producers and guaranteed quality and reliability for consumers. In Hungary the first legislation establishing the Hungarian Food Book was passed in 1976, and its current form was strengthened by the 2008 amendments to the Food Act. It is very important that the rules of the Hungarian Food Book apply to every food product put on the market in Hungary, so imported foods too. A 15-member committee coordinates the operation of the Hungarian Food Book that includes experts from the ministry, the food industry, consumer protection bodies, public authorities and the representatives of science health and technology research”.

What changes are expected in the Hungarian Food Book in the near future?

Dr. Beáta Olga Felkai
deputy state secretary
MInistry of Agriculture

Dr Beáta Olga Felkai told that the legislative process is ongoing in the following fields:

– the dairy regulation will bring changes to milk-based drinks.

– the regulation on coffee, coffee substitutes and coffee mixtures, coffee and chicory extracts and other coffee substitutes and coffee preparations has been revised and updated.

– for ceramic articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs, a broader and more specific information on the ingredients is expected to be provided.

The deputy state secretary informed that the legislative process is beginning now in the following categories:

– for meat products, the amendment is based on a comprehensive revision of the standards, with the introduction of a new concept of protein quality value.

– another change expected for dairy products is the labelling of goat’s cheese, with clearer and more detailed information for consumers on food sensitivities and allergies.

– for milling products, the main purpose of the amendment is to clarify the legislation on food additives and some definitions.

– the regulation on pasta will also change. The primary objective of the amendment is to facilitate the production and differentiation of higher quality products.

Dr Beáta Olga Felkai told that the Hungarian Food Book Committee decided on the following this year:

– for dairy products, the amendment stipulates that sour cream must have a sufficient number of live flora containing lactic acid bacteria.

– in the legislation on pickled products a fundamental structural transformation took place, in accordance with the definition of acid and acidified products and the clarification of natural or added acid acidification processes related to them.

– the amendment of the quick-frozen food regulation was an old debt of the committee.

– for bakery products, numerous changes have been made following many rounds of consultation, for instance modifying the definition of sourdough, etc.

– a complete “shake-up” of the confectionery regulation is underway.

The deputy state secretary explained that these changes, which are adapted to market and technological needs, will only achieve their objectives for the whole food chain if the information reaches consumers. The Hungarian Food Book isn’t primarily for consumers but for producers and public authorities. This is why a year and a half ago they launched the website magyarelelmiszerkonyv.hu, where the latest news are presented to the public in a clear and interesting fashion. //

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