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In 2,000 B.C the chronology of cocoa began, cocoa played a central role when the date attributed by historians to the oldest drinking cups and plates that have ever been discovered in Latin America at a small village in the Ulua valley in Honduras. Cocoa was one of the main products in Mayan Agriculture and religion in 200-900 AD. They are using cocoa as a gift to deceased dignitaries as their funeral ceremonies and as currency (Barry Callebaut, 2008). The word cacao is derived from the olmec and the subsequent Mayan language (kakaw) and the chocolate-related term cacahualt is Nahualt (Aztec language) derived from Olmec/Mayan etymology. The cocoa tree was named Theobroma cacao which refers to the mythical background of the tree literally means "cocoa, food of the gods" in 1737 (T.L. Dillinger et.al, 2000). According to Barry Callebaut many parts of Theobroma cacao have been utilized, namely cocoa beans prepared as chocolate, cocoa bark, cocoa butter, cocoa flower, cocoa pulp, and cocoa leaf. In 1505, Spanish had brought cocoa to Europe and it is used as a medicine rather than delicious foodstuff. Chocolate was recognized as stimulating the healthy function of the spleen and other digestive functions. In the 17th and 18th century, chocolate was regularly prescribed or mixed into medication for all sorts of ailment and diseases from colds and coughing, to promote digestion, fertility, reinforce mental performance and as an anti-depressant.
Millions of people in over 50 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Carribbean, and Asia makes cocoa as their livelihoods. For the major countries, cocoa production become the income of around 2.5 million small producers and their families (Cocoa Market, 2002). In this twentieth century, world production of cocoa increased rapidly prompted by rising demand, as is illustrated in Diagram 1 (LMC International Ltd, 2001). From annual production of less than 125,000 tonnes in the early twentieth century, annual global output rose to reach record 3.1 million tonnes in the 1999/00 cocoa year (October to September)- an annual average groth rate of 3.5%.
Diagram 1.1: World Cocoa Production, 1900/1901-1999/00
In Malaysia, cocoa planting has evolved from the use of hybrids to clones. So, the Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB) continuous breeding research program with the objective of developing improved clones and focused on the development of clonal planting materials in its long term. MCB released five new cocoa clones for commercial planting based on the results of a comprehensive cocoa breeding program. The new clones are MCB C1, MCB C2, MCB C3, MCB C4 and MCB C5. The clones were officially launched by The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Abdul Razak on the 15thJuly 2005 in-conjunction with the Malaysian International Cocoa Fair (MICF 2005) in Kuala Lumpur.
The Malaysian cocoa industry started its commercial planting in early 1950. In the 1970s and 1980s, the growth of our cocoa industry was accelerated by high prices of cocoa. However, in 1990 the persistent low prices started and have seen the declining in hectareage especially in the plantation sector. In 2007, the cocoa cultivated area has reduced by 10% to 28,209 hectares, as compared to 31,326 hectares in 2006. The cultivated area under the smallholding sector also is estimated to reduce by 5.3% or 1,355 hectares, to 24,076 hectares as compared to 25,431 hectares in 2006. The total cocoa planting area for smallholders is 85.3%. While, the estate sector is estimated to continue to decline to 4,133 hectares in 2007, as compared to 5,895 hectares in 2006. Sabah is still the major cocoa-growing centre accounting for 62.7% or 17,703 hectares of the total areas followed by Peninsular Malaysia, 6,144 hectares (21.8%) and Sarawak, 4,362 hectares (15.5%)(Malaysian Cocoa Board, 2011).
Diagram 1.2: Malaysia - Cocoa Production, 1975/76-1999/00
According to Malaysian Cocoa Board, the production of cocoa beans in Malaysia follows the trend of the cocoa cultivated area. In 1990, after reaching the peak at 247,000 tonnes, the production of cocoa beans started to lower following the trend of the cocoa cultivation area. However, the production of cocoa beans increased slightly in 2006 and 2007 although the hectareage continued to decline. As compared to 31,937 tonnes in 2006, the production of cocoa beans increased to 35,180 tonnes (10.2%).
Based on Malaysia Cocoa Board in 2007, the export earnings of cocoa beans and cocoa products were estimated at RM 2.588 billion, 24.5% higher as compared to RM 2.078 billion in 2006. Japan was the main export destination of Malaysian cocoa beans and cocoa paste, accounting for 37.2% of the total cocoa beans exported, as well as 31.8% of the total of cocoa paste exported. USA remains the major importer of cocoa butter (22.8% of the total export), as well as unsweetened cocoa powder (9.6% of the total export). The total value of cocoa beans and cocoa products import in 2007 was RM 2.962 billion. The major source of cocoa beans import is Indonesia (70.1% of the total amount). Other cocoa beans supplying countries were Ghana (13.3%) and Cote d'Ivoire (8.9%). Besides, New Zealand was the major source of chocolate import (12.8% from the total chocolate import), followed by USA (12.6%) and Australia (11.6%). All the statistics were taken from official website of Malaysia Cocoa Board.
As we can see from the statistics, United States of America (USA) involves majorly in both export and import cocoa for Malaysia. Malaysia and USA have their own regulation to export or import cocoa to other country that needs to fulfill. Here we would like to compare both country regulations and knowing the impact to Malaysia Food industry.
COMPARISON BETWEEN MALAYSIA AND UNITED STATES (US) REGULATION
PROCESSING AND COMPOSITIONS
2.1.1 Chocolate liquor.
Comparing the US cocoa regulation for chocolate liquor with the Malaysia regulations stated that; chocolate liquor contains not less than 50 percent nor more than 60 percent by weight of cacao fat (US Food Regulations, 2011). However in 276 (1) Malaysia regulation stated that, cocoa paste, cocoa mass, cocoa slab or cocoa liquor shall be the solid or semi-solid mass produced by grinding cocoa nibs. It shall contain no less than 48% of cocoa fat (Malaysia Food Act and Regulation, 2009).
For addition substances added into chocolate liquor, Malaysia does not have regulations stated about the substances added into chocolate liquor meanwhile for US regulations, they have stated some regulations that need to know by importers and could be chances for importers to enhance food products; Chocolate liquor may be spiced, flavored, or seasoned with one or more of the ingredients listed.
The following safe and suitable ingredients may be used (US Cocoa Regulations, 2009);
Cacao fat and cocoas (breakfast cocoa, cocoa, or lowfat cocoa);
Alkali ingredients. Ammonium, potassium, or sodium bicarbonate;
carbonate, or hydroxide, or magnesium carbonate or oxide, added as such, or in aqueous solution;
Neutralizing agents. Phosphoric acid, citric acid, and L-tartaric acid,
added as such, or in aqueous solution;
Spices, natural and artificial flavorings, ground whole nut meats, ground coffee, dried malted cereal extract, and other seasonings that do not either singly or in combination impart a flavor that imitates the flavor of chocolate, milk, or butter;
Butter or milk fat; or
2.1.2 White chocolate
There are several differences between US and Malaysia regulations bout white chocolate respectively. Based on the US regulations, the finished white chocolate contains not less than 3.5 percent by weight of milk fat and not less than 14 percent by weight of total milk solids while, Malaysia regulation had stated; white chocolate not more than 5% of milk fat or edible vegetable fat other than cocoa butter.
While Malaysia regulations had stated some regulations about permitted flavoring substance and permitted food conditioner which are;
Lecithin in a proportion not exceeding 0.8%;
Monoglycerides and diglycerides in a proportion not exceeding 0.5% and;
Polyglycerol polyricinolate, in a proportion not exceeding 0.5% if the total emulsifier content of the chocolates does not exceed 1.5%;
Meanwhile, for US regulations stated; spices, natural and artificial flavorings, ground whole nut meats, ground coffee, dried malted cereal extract, salt, and other seasonings that do not either singly or in combination impart a flavor that imitates the flavor of chocolate, milk, or butter; are suitable and safe ingredients to be used without any amounts mentioned maximum or minimum usage.
2.1.3 Milk chocolate
While US regulations stated that the finished milk chocolate contains not less than 3.39 percent by weight of milkfat and not less than 12 percent by weight of total milk solids, Malaysia regulation had mentioned milk chocolate shall contain not less than;
2% of milk fat; and
10.5% of milk solids on a fat-free basis.
Food safety for Cocoa And Cocoa Products
Pesticide is a broad term that covering a range of products that are used to control pest. Pesticide is often referred according to the type of pest they used against. A few example of common pesticide is insecticides, herbicides and insect repellents. A general defition of pesticide is any substance or mixture of substance that we used to preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest (epa.gov, 2011). Pest can be insect, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscs, birds, mammals, fish and others.
In USA, three bodies are responsible to regulate the pesticide. The first agency is Environmental protection Agency or (EPA). This EPA reviews the scientific data on all pesticide products before they can be registered or licensed for commercial use.
The second agency that regulates the pesticide is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where they are responsible in enforcing tolerance on all foods except for meat, poultry, and certain egg products which is monitored by USDA. FDA is cooperate with the other agency like EPA to set the action level or enforcement guideline for residue of pesticides that can affect the environment even after we no longer use it.
The last agency that related to pesticide is US department of Agriculture (USDA) that their job is to monitors and enforce the meat, poultry, some egg product, plus state-level monitoring.
When a country like Malaysia want to exported our product, the samples will be collected at the point of US commerce which is usually at the port or airport. If the sample contains illegal residues, it will be rejected from entering US. There are certain factor to determine sampling which include available foreign pesticide usage data, dietary significance of the food, volume of imported food, origin of imported food and chemical characteristic and toxicity of the pesticide used.
US FDA will analyses and the cocoa beans without shell using mult-residue methods which is up to hundreds of pesticide per analysis. The finished chocolate or confectionery or other product sampling does not allow dilution factors because the same chemical tolerance level applies to both the cocoa beans and the finished product.
Other scope of detection is finished product monitoring where they use FDA`s Total Diet Study. The foods that are prepared table-ready for consumption. Typical diet "market basket" representing about 300 foods each. This Total Diet Study (TDS), is FDA program that determines the levels of various contaminants and nutrients in foods. FDA use this information to analyte the dietary intakes by the U.S population. It is used to monitor for radioactive contaminant of foods TDS has grown to do additional analytes, including pesticide residues, industrial chemicals, and toxic and nutrient elements. Unique aspect of the TDS is that foods are prepared as ready to eat prior to analysis, so the analytical result will provide basis for realistic estimates of dietary intake of these analytes. This test is representing regional bases. It is more sensitive methods where it up to 0.1 ppb. This is not a regulation but can lead to investigation.
Food contamination is refer to the presence of harmful chemical or microorganism in our food which can cause consumer illness. So the contaminant here maybe from the chemical resource or from the microorganism. From the FDA reports in 2000, there are several contaminant related to the cocoa and cocoa product.
The first one is the content of Benzene Hexachloride (BHC) in cocoa beans which cannot be more than 0.5 ppm. Next one is the dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorophenyldichloroethylene (DDE),Tetrachlorodiphenylethane (TDE) for all three of the substance above, the action level is 0.05 ppm. Last one is for the Lindane content which cannot be more than 0.5 ppm.
BHC or Hexachlorobenzene is an animal carcinogen and is considered to be a probable human carcinogen. After its introduction as a fungicide in 1945, for crop seeds, this toxic chemical was found in all food types. Hexachlorobenzene was banned from use in the United States in 1966. Then is DDT, a book by American Biologist Rachel Carson suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. The publication of book is a beginner of the environmental movement, and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned in the US in 1972.
DDE in some studies have indicated that DDE is an endocrine disruptor and contributes to breast cancer, but more recent studies provide strong evidence that there is no relationship between DDE exposure and breast cancer. What is more clear is that DDE is a weak antiandrogen.Other studies found that exposure to DDE is linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in humans. Animal studies show that organochlorine pesticides-such as DDE-are neurotoxic, cause oxidative stress, and damage the brain's dopaminergic system.
From a research, TDE is found out that it is a probable human carcinogen. This is based on an increased incidence of lung tumors in male and female mice, liver tumors in male mice, and thyroid tumors in male rats. Further basis is that DDD is so similar to and is a metabolite of DDT, another probable human carcinogen. And lastly for Lindane, it affects the nervous system, liver and kidneys, and may be a carcinogen.
The other contaminant found in cocoa and cocoa product is lead contamination. Manufactured cocoa products frequently have high lead concentration than other foods, even though cocoa beans, the main ingredient, have low leads level in any natural food. Lead contamination in candies has been recognized from the 1820, when a British study found the poison spread in London confectionary products. In current study, the research studied the lead isotopic compositions of cocoa beans and shells from six farms in Nigeria`s top three producing state to determine if soil or farm sources might be the cause of lead contamination. The team took bean and sediment samples and homogenized them to make composites for soils, beans, and cocoa beans shells from each farm. From this research, they conclude that while cocoa beans shells may be one source of lead, most contamination occurs during shipping or processing of the beans and in manufacturing.
Table 2.1: US Tolerence For Cocoa Beans
Type of Cocoa
Type of Contaminant
Cocoa bean & roasted bean
Cocoa bean, chocolate & cocoa powder
Cocoa bean, dried
Cocoa bean, dried
Cocoa bean, dried
Cocoa bean, roasted bean, postharvest
Cryolite (fluorine compounds)
Cocoa bean, roasted bean, postharvest
Inorganic bromidw residues resulting from fumigation with methyl bromide
Cocoa bean, roasted bean, postharvest
Cocoa bean, roasted bean, postharvest
Cocoa bean, roasted bean, postharvest
Cocoa bean, dried bean & cocoa powder
Cocoa bean, dried bean
(Source: NCA, 1884)
3.1 Food Safety Modernization Act
Based on Food Safety Modernization Act regulated by President Obama in January 4th 2011 indicate that food producer from any countries who want to export cocoa and cocoa product must strengthening their food safety systems.
"This law helps us take the critical steps toward strengthening the food safety systems that is vital to health and security for American people" (FDA Commissioner Margaret A.Hamburg, 2011)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million of foodborne illness case occurs in the United States every year. At least 128,000 Americans are hospitalized, and 3,000 die after eating contaminated food (Center Disease Control, 2010). While most foodborne illness cases go unreported to health departments, and are thus of unknown origin, the CDC estimates that 9.4 million of the illnesses are caused by 31 known foodborne pathogens, and that 90% of all illnesses due to known pathogens are caused by seven pathogens: Salmonella, norovirus, Campylobacter, Toxoplasma, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria and Clostridium perfringens.
The law also gives FDA important new tools to hold imported foods to the same standards as domestic foods and directs FDA to build an integrated national food safety system in partnership with state and local authorities (FDA, 2011). Major provision include in this law that related to cocoa and cocoa product industry can be divided into 5 which is Registration and Inspection, Hazard Analysis and Preventive Controls Plans, Imported Foods, Recordkeeping and Records Access; Traceability and Fees.
Registration and inspection
Based on section 414(a)(21 U.S.C. 350 d(a) all the food facilities required to transfer cocoa and cocoa product must be register with FDA and all new information regarding on exportation must included in the registration such as approval to permit FDA inspection of the registered facility, contact person and section where the facility held. For example, cocoa beans that is fumigation prior to processing and the port facilities from origin countries where the cocoa beans fumigated and then stored before shipping must register with FDA.
Hazard analysis and preventive control
The owner of the facilities must identify and evaluate hazard associated with the facility, action needed and also written preventive control plan to ensure that food is not adulterated under FD & C Section 402 or misleader under FD&C Section 403(w)(allergen labeling). The type of hazard include biological, chemical, physical and radiological hazard as well as natural toxins, pesticide, drug residue, parasite, allergen and color additives. The preventive control that must be follow by owner of cocoa and cocoa product is Sanitation procedures for food contact surfaces and utensils, Supervisor, manager, and employee hygiene training, An environmental monitoring program to verify the effectiveness of pathogen controls in processes where food is exposed to a potential contaminant in the environment and etcetera.(Olsson, 2011)
Bioterrorism Act 2001 is act to improve the ability of United States to prevent, prepare for and respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergence (FOA, 2002). Cocoa beans are a high risk food due to salmonella and additional of peanut to the cocoa product during manufacturing because peanut is a hypersensitivity and can contribute illness when consumed.
Bioterrorism Act 2001 is a one up or one back traceability requirement already in place for all registered facilities. NCA will work with FDA to minimize burden to cocoa industry.
Foreign Supplier Verification Program
This is new requirement for importer. The entire food producer who wants to export food to USA must join this program. This program is used to verify whether the food import is produced in compliance with the requirements of Section 418(hazard analysis and preventive controls) or Section 419(produce standard) and is not adulterated under Section 401 or misbranded under Section 403(w)(allergen labeling).
This requirement will become effective 2 years after the date of enactment, so cocoa bean and chocolate importers should be in compliance by the end of 2012. Type of activities in Foreign Supplier Verification program is each importer must monitor record of shipment, certification, annual on-site inspection, check the hazard analysis and etc.
Labeling on specific product
White chocolate is a food that from standardized cacoa product in part 163(21 CFR parts 163). This product is produced without nonfat components of ground cocoa nibs but it's contain the fat (cocoa butter) expressed from ground cocoa nibs. This product may have safe and suitable cocoa nibs. FDA stated that white contain less than 20% cocoa butter, not less that 1.4% of total milk solid, not less than 3.5% milk fat and not more than 55 percent nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners(FDA, 2002). Based on Peraturan 281 food act Malaysia stated that white chocolate must contain 2% milk solid, 10.5% solid milk without water and 3% cocoa paste without water and fat (Akta Makanan 1983). The name of "White Chocolate" creates confusion to consumer because the term of chocolate used. Product of term chocolate requiring tha product be prepared by finely grinding cocoa nibs (Section 163.111 (c) but the white chocolate do not have definition and standard for chocolate because does not contain the nonfat portion of cocoa nibs. All the exporter of white chocolate must apply for TMP.
This permits needed to distinguish the white chocolate from standardized chocolate. The term chocolate only apply to standardized food that contains cocoa derived ingredients specifically chocolate liquor (Sec 163.111). These standardized food include sweet chocolate (sec 163.135), skim milk chocolate (sec 163.130), buttermilk chocolate (sec 163.135), skim milk chocolate (sec 163.140), mixed dairy chocolate (sec163.153) and milk chocolate and vegetable fat coating (sec 163.153).
"Sugar Free" Versions of Standardized Chocolate Products
To qualify sugar free a food must contain less than 0.5gram of sugar per labeled serving size (21 C.F.R. 101.60(c)). A non-standardized chocolate product that contains chocolate liquor or cocoa as its only source of chocolate flavoring can also qualify for a "sugar free" claim, because the standards of identity for "chocolate liquor" and "cocoa" (as well as those for "lowfat cocoa" and "breakfast cocoa") do not require a nutritive carbohydrate sweetener. Such products must be labeled appropriately. If the product is formulated with a sufficient characterizing amount of "chocolate liquor" the word "chocolate" may be used in the product name for example "chocolate bar," "chocolate confection". This is because FDA considers "chocolate" a synonym for chocolate liquor (21 C.F.R. 163.111(c).) The labeling may also include statements indicating the presence of chocolate for example "contains chocolate," or "made with chocolate"). If product is formulated with cocoa, the product name may include with the word chocolate only if consumers do not expect to contain chocolate.
According to FDA, consumers expect a chocolate candy bar to contain chocolate liquor; therefore, a candy bar that contains cocoa as its only source of chocolate flavoring may be called "chocolate flavored" or "chocolatey." Ingredient in food must be listed by their common or usual name but in some cases the common or usual name of ingredient may be unfamiliar to consumer and many consumer may not realize the ingredient derive from or contain major food allergen so the ingredient may be declared as class where the ingredient derived for example spices, flavoring and certain coloring.
When the cocoa nibs and cocoa beans from which alkali ingredients specified in paragraph the name of the food shall accompanied by the "Processed with alkali" or "Processed with alkali" or "processed with_______" usual name of specific alkali ingredient used in the food.
There is no reason why FDA would require import certificates for cocoa and cocoa products. However, it is possible FDA may use the import certificate requirement as an alternative to increased foreign facility inspections if it lacks sufficient resources to increase foreign inspections. FDA if require want certification be in the form of shipment specific certificate. Whether FDA need certificate or not from food producer FDA shall consider such factors as the known safety risks of food, the known safety risks of the country, territory or region of origin of the food, and a finding by FDA that the food safety programs, systems, and standards in the country, territory, or region of origin are inadequate to ensure safety and that certification would assist FDA in making an admissibility determination.
Traceability, Recordkeeping, Record access
FDA is required a product tracing system within FDA to receive information that improves their capacity to effectively and rapidly track and trace food that is in the United States or offered for import into the United States.
Additional Recordkeeping Requirements for High-Risk Foods
New recordkeeping for facilities for manufacturing, process, pack or hold high risk food (FD&C Act Section 414 (21 U.S.C. 350c) is required by FDA. FDA is required to publish a list of high-risk foods on its website. FDA may add or remove foods from the list of high-risk foods by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. FDA will consider cocoa beans a high risk food due to the presence of Salmonella and the need for a kill step in the processing of beans. In the event that cocoa beans are designated as a high-risk food by FDA, NCA would seek to exempt them from any new recordkeeping requirements as "commingled raw agricultural commodities."
IMPACT TO MALAYSIA FOOD INDUSTRY
4.1 Improve Food Traceability
In processing and preparing cocoa nibs, according to US regulation it must be prepared by removing the shell from cured, cleaned, dried and cracked cocoa beans. It will be prepared by heating it with alkaline ingredients and further process with neutralizing agents. All this alkaline and neutralizing agents must be state in statement with ''Processed with alkali'' or ''Processed with _________''. The blank being filled in with the common or usual name of the specific alkali ingredient. Same situation also for cocoa that use neutralizing agent also need in statement of ''Processed with neutralizing agent'' or ''Processed with________ ''. The blank being filled in with the common or usual name of the specific neutralizing (CFR, 2006). While for Malaysia Regulation, also using alkaline and neutralizing ingredients but did not state in labeling of cocoa and cocoa products (Malaysia Cocoa Board, 2011). By using this, it can improve food traceability to trace the specific content and ingredient of product by specific labeling.
To improving traceability, FDA required product tracing system to conduct at least 2 pilot projects that's are for processed foods (butter cocoa, cocoa powder and cocoa liquor) and fresh product (cocoa beans) to report its findings to Congress. Besides, additional data gathering also needs to assess the costs and benefits of several tracing technologies and evaluating domestic and international tracing practices in commercial use (Food Safety Modernization Act, 2011).
4.2 Control Quality of Cocoa And Cocoa Products
All the facilities that use in processing of cocoa and cocoa product need and required to register with FDA biennially. It compulsory for exporter countries who want to export their products and food that unregistered their facilities cannot be export to US. FDA will do the inspection at least once for every five years of greater frequency and domestic facilities.
This requirement will impact Malaysia food industry in context of control the quality and implementation of preventative controls plans because FDA will do the review and evaluate relevant data to determine foodborne contaminants at least every two years. Because of this, laboratories need to monitor development of new performance standards need to be validated to assure compliance with new action levels.
To prevent food quality against intentional adulteration, FDA will conduct assessment to determine vulnerabilities by using food system. It also can identify the costs and benefits of guarding food at vulnerable points and also determining mitigation strategies in order to protect the food. This enactment within one year time was a guidance document including a model assessment of mitigation strategies, and specific situations in which mitigation strategies are appropriate. Cocoa and cocoa products need this intentional adulteration because its including as high-risk food of intentional contaminant (Food Safety Modernization Act, 2011).
FDA also require issue of shippers that authorized by Sanitary Transportation Act of 2005. FDA conducts the study of transportation cocoa and cocoa product to US. It's including transportation by air and an examination of needs of rural areas with regard to the delivery of safe product. This requirement use in transportation of food to use sanitary practices within the next year and half.
4.3 Increase Safety of Cocoa And Cocoa Products
Exporter countries that want to export their food to US need to involve in Foreign Supplier Verification Programs. These programs were needed to take steps and verify that food was safe before it can be export to US. These programs were implementing by food importers that are US country. These Foreign Supplier Verification Programs was required for high-risk foods and in US, cocoa beans and cocoa product was consider as high-risk food and need to involve this program before it can be export. Cocoa beans are considered as high-risk food because due to presence of Salmonella and need kill steps in processing of beans. To ensure that our cocoa and cocoa product is produced in a compliance with the preventative control requirement, produce safety standards and others US laws and regulations. It must be done within two years with guidance to assist US in developing verification programs and issues the outlines the requirement for verification programs (Food Safety Modernization Act, 2011).
US will require activities including monitoring records of shipments, lot-by-lot certification, annual on-site inspections of foreign suppliers, checking the hazard analysis and prevent controls plans of foreign suppliers and periodic sampling and testing of shipments. It also contain website to maintain current list of the names, locations, and others information about US.
From these programs, our food exporter from Malaysia can confirm and make sure our food safety that compliance with US regulation by verify the food safety practices of their supply chain. Besides that, it will help Malaysia food exporter to increase their knowledge in handling of food product and ensure food safety products.
Besides, food safety of cocoa and cocoa products can be improved and ensure by inspections program from FDA. From these inspections, some elements need to inspect. There are, inspect all domestic facilities use in processing product at least every five years, and inspect domestic high-risk facilities at least once every five years with date of enactment, also inspect not high-risk domestic facilities at least once per seven years with the date enactment. From this inspection, the food safety can be ensuring in safe condition by using the safety facilities (Food Safety Modernization Act, 2011).
4.4 Improving Relationship between Countries
Foreign Supplier Verification Programs also give impact in improving of partnership between Malaysia and US country. This can be proving by joining these programs that implement by US. Malaysia exporter can understand what US need and communicate each other to cooperate in processing of exporting food product to US.
Besides that, relationship with competitor of other country also will be increased. Many of others country was involve in Foreign Supplier Verification programs to exporting cocoa and cocoa products such as Indonesia. Because of this, Malaysia exporter will encourage more and will produce product according of US regulation to compete with others competitors.
4.5 Information about the regulation and requirements needed
By following the regulation made by the US government, the test or inspection, handling and processing procedures, packaging, labeling, ingredient and nutrition information of the products may be enforced. This will increase product reliability to importer and the consumer. The products will become more complex but it become more informative to the consumer. On the other hand, the producers may lose their competitive differentiation advantages as they are using and sharing the same information as their competitors.
4.6 Hazard Analysis and Preventive Control
All the facilities used during handling and processing are required to conduct a hazard analysis and implement preventive controls which is established by FDA using science-based standards. Besides that it is required to develop food safety plan to document monitoring, correction and verification of preventive controls. The facilities in the food safety plan may be required document sanitation procedures, a recall plan, supplier verification activities and environmental sampling testing. FDA will conduct inspections to these facilities either high-risk facilities or non-high risk facilities. The firms that refuse the inspection may not allowed to import their products into the US. So the firms or company that intend to import their products to US will constantly maintain their facilities according to the requirements.
FDA is required to inspect the foreign facilities during the first year following enactment and at least twice the number inspected during the previous year in each of the next 5 years. FDA will consider participation in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program and third-party certification. FDA will inspect according to risk and identify high-risk facilities such as the known safety risks of the food manufactured, processed, packed or held at the facility, then they will inspects the facility's compliance history including recalls, violation and outbreaks and one of the most important criteria which is the rigor and effectiveness of the facility's hazard analysis and preventive controls. Besides that, the inspection will be carried whether the facility or its food have been certified by an accredited third-party auditor and whether the food manufactured, processed, packed, handled, prepared, treated, distributed or stored at the facility meet the criteria priority under FDA (Food Safety Modernization Act, 2011)
The US strict regulation on food safety and hygiene through voluntary and regulatory mechanisms will strengthens the existing food safety management systems. Our food industry should be able to enhance existing food safety programmes to prevent the introduction any of hazardous agents into food during production, processing, distribution or preparation of food. Enhancing the food safety system can prevent food terrorism (WHO, 2008).
4.7 Economic and Trade Impact
The US legislation are getting stringent and FDA is required to establish a product tracing system for US products itself and their imported products to improves their capacity and effectively track and trace food (Food Safety Modernization Act,2011)
Any contamination of our exported products may bring enormous economic implications to the importing country even though the incident is relatively minor. Especially if the incidents being reported in the media, the consumer will have a negative assumption on our food safety systems and our food industry. This will decrease the reliability of consumer globally to our food industry and even other Malaysia industry's product (WHO, 2008).
US import requirements for importing cocoa and cocoa products give a lot of advantages to Malaysia food industry especially cocoa food industry. US have more stringent regulation compared to Malaysia, so Malaysia food industry will try to adapt and follow the enforcement by the US. This will enhance our food production system in term of food safety, improve facilities, production, transportation, traceability, and storage handling.
Besides that, Malaysia will enhance the relationship with US and other countries. While, enhancing the quality of cocoa and cocoa products, Malaysia constantly improve its competitiveness as one of the major world cocoa producer.