South Korea Partially Revises Regulations for Functional Labeling of General Food
2 min read

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), South Korea has come up with a new revision to the rules on functional food labeling to prevent deceptive display/advertising.

What is the Reason for the Revision?

The MFDS intends to clearly define the requirements for foods labeled or advertised for their functional claims, thus preventing vagueness. To avoid confusion, it is important to specify the conditions under which foods may be advertised or labeled as functional. If there is a change to the Standards for Health Functional Foods, Labeling Standards for Food, or other standards that are part of this notice, it should be implemented first, and then the shortcomings in the operation of the current system should be improved.

What does the New Revision State?

The primary goal of the updated amendment is to clarify the regulation’s unclear requirements and effectively direct the food business in the country.

The daily intake of the “individually recognized ingredient” now serves as a reference point to determine the recommended daily intake level of a functional substance. Earlier, the functional components would include “more than 30% of the daily intake recommended by the Health Functional Food Code, but less than the maximum permissible contents”. Now, as per the new revision, the daily intake of the functional material in the general food with functional claims is allowed to exceed 30% of the daily intake of the “individually recognised ingredients”.

According to the updated version, the daily consumption of both “individually recognised ingredients” and functional material in a general food product with functional claims can exceed by 30 per cent. The new update has specifically revised the daily intake requirements of indigestible maltodextrin, which we will look at now.

What is the Daily Intake Threshold for Indigestible Maltodextrin?

The official statement mentions indigestible maltodextrin, whose labeling reflects the daily intake, as per the revision of the Standards for Health Functional Foods under the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Announcement No. 2021–95, November 23, 2021.

The following table (Table 1) provides an overview of the updated regulations.

Table 1: The Revised Regulations on Maltodextrin

Functional Ingredient


 Recommended Daily Intake

Indigestible Maltodextrin


Maintains a healthy level of triglyceride


 Indigestible Maltodextrin: 4.0–30 g (in case of liquid ingredients, 4.0–44 g)

Helps maintain a healthy level of postprandial glucose

 Indigestible Maltodextrin: 5.0–30 g (in case of liquid ingredients, 5.0–44 g)

Useful for maintaining healthy bowel function

 Indigestible Maltodextrin: 4.2–30 g (in case of liquid ingredients, 4.2–44 g)



South Korea introduced the regulation titled “Exceptions of Prohibited Labels and Advertisements of Food Function Claims” in December 2020. This regulation opened new prospects for the food business and benefited general food companies by making allowance for “functional claims,” previously only allowed on the labels of “health functional food (dietary supplements)” on general foods. The new revision outlines the functional range of general foods as well as the amount of functional ingredients permitted in general food products.

If you wish to align with the MFDS food labeling updates, reach out to Freyr experts! We will provide you with end-to-end Regulatory support to ensure your compliant entry into the South Korean food market.