Shortage of raw materials – How to find out about products affected by the change in recipe?

Credits: © Thomas Koeks / AFP

Faced with difficulties in the supply of sunflower oil due to the war in Ukraine, the Ministry of Economy temporarily allows food producers to modify their recipes without changing the product packaging. Are you a fan of chips, cookies, ready meals and sauces? How do you know if the recipe for the foods you usually eat has changed? What ingredient replaces sunflower oil? Where can I find the list of products?

The crisis in Ukraine and Russia is causing difficulties in the supply of some products, in particular sunflower oil, which is used in many food products produced by the food industry. From April 26, 2022, the Ministry of Economy allowed manufacturers to replace sunflower oil in their recipes with other ingredients for a maximum of six months without changing the packaging. Manufacturers must submit a request to the DGCCRF. Deviations from product labeling are possible provided that this does not affect the safety of consumers, in particular in the case of allergies, in case of proven difficulties in the supply of raw materials and provided that product labeling is adapted to inform consumers about a change in recipe.

Informing the consumer about a prescription change

In order to notify consumers of a recipe change, manufacturers have 2 months to explicitly state it on the packaging. At the very least, there should be a mark like “DEROG” (for fallback) next to the expiration date. This directive must come into effect no later than June 26, 2022.

An indication of a change in the recipe must be immediate and indicated directly on the product in a visible and legible form in the following cases:

  • the addition of an allergen such as soy (via soy lecithin) and peanuts (via peanut butter) or gluten;
  • adding an ingredient derived from GMOs;
  • if the packaging has environmental claims such as “no palm oil”, “non-GMO”, “non-GMO fattening” or “from organic farming” that will no longer be followed due to a recipe change.

Thus, allergy sufferers are advised to check the label on the front side or next to the ingredient list when buying that the recipe for their usual products has not changed. » advises the DGCCRF.

Where can I find a list of products whose recipe has been changed?

If you want to know which products and brands are affected by the recipe change, you can check out the open source database.

You can download the complete list

To ensure that consumers are fully informed, posters with a QR code linking to the database will be displayed in stores in the departments that are subject to exemptions, as well as at the entrance and at the checkout.

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