Health claims on food products in Southeast Asia: regulatory frameworks, barriers, and opportunities

Nutr Rev. 2015 Sep;73(9):634-41. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv029.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations aims to act as a single market and allow free movement of goods, services, and manpower. The purpose of this article is to present an overview of the current regulatory framework for health claims in Southeast Asia and to highlight the current barriers and opportunities in the regulatory frameworks in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. To date, 5 countries in Southeast Asia, i.e., Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, have regulations and guidelines to permit the use of health claims on food products. There are inconsistencies in the regulations and the types of evidence required for health claim applications in these countries. A clear understanding of the regulatory frameworks in these countries may help to increase trade in this fast-growing region and to provide direction for the food industry and the regulatory community to develop and market food products with better nutritional quality tailored to the needs of Southeast Asian consumers.

Keywords: Southeast Asia; food industry; food trade; health claims; regulatory frameworks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advertising / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Food Packaging / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • Thailand