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FDA changes labeling policy for 'Hsinchu rice noodle' products

According to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) newest rules, rice noodles that contain 50 percent or more rice may be labeled as “rice noodles,” but the font must be smaller than that of the “mixed rice noodles” label.

The FDA said that rice noodle manufacturers must label their product as “mixed rice noodles” if their products consist of 50-99 percent rice. Manufactures must also indicate the level of rice in their products.

Products that contain less than 50 percent rice must be labeled as “cooking noodles” or “water noodles.” Manufacturers can still label their products as “rice noodles,” but the font must be smaller than that of “cooking noodles” or “water noodles.

The FDA's new regulation has been the object of much rancor among local food companies. The reason is that locally renowned Hsinchu Rice Noodles brand name may be rendered to a lower value if the word “rice noodles” is eliminated from packaging.

Sources say a rice content of 25 percent will yield the best texture in rice noodles. As such, food companies argue that it is not necessary to remove “rice noodles” from the label, a measure which may result in a substantial loss in business value.

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