Wine producers to comply with new labelling rules for allergens
By Joanna Sopinska | Monday 02 July 2012
As from 1 July, European wine producers need to comply with new food allergen labelling regulations. In order to better inform consumers of potential allergic risks, the European Commission adopted, on 29 June, a new regulation - amending Regulation (EC) No 607/2009 - requiring producers to provide on the labels information if the wine contains traces of egg or milk protein allergens, a Commission source said. The decision follows the expiry of the current derogation exempting wines put on the Union’s market or labelled before 30 June 2012 from such requirements.
Egg or milk powder is sometimes used to make wines clearer and traces can sometimes linger ever after the wine is filtered, posing a treat to those who are allergic to such substances. Now, wine producers would need to use certain wording in order to inform consumers about the presence of these allergens in wine (in the case of milk proteins, the following nomenclature would apply: ‘milk’, “milk casein’ or ‘milk protein’, and in the case of egg proteins, ‘egg’, ‘egg protein’, ‘egg product’, ‘egg lysozyme’ or ‘egg albumin’). Those mentions may be accompanied by a pictogram, the source specified.
The new regulation meets the recommendations of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the International Wine Organisation (OIV) and aligns the EU with international standards (Australia and New Zealand have already implemented similar rules in this area). It applies only to finished products in which milk and egg proteins (the ingredients enumerated in Appendix IIIa to Directive 2000/13/EC) can be detected in accordance with methods of analysis recommended by the OIV.
The new labelling modalities apply to wines made from grapes of the 2012 harvest and the following and those made in the EU or in third countries and put on the market after 30 June 2012.