Korean chilli paste, ginseng products receive recognition as distinct food

Posted on : 2007-07-15 19:56 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST

South Korea's traditional chilli paste and ginseng-derived products have received initial recognition as distinct foods by an international standard-setting commission, the government said Sunday.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) approved food standards forwarded by South Korea on chilli paste or "gochujang," and dried and liquid extracts of ginseng.

Gochujang had been considered a form of hot sauce made with powdered chilli, salt and vinegar. The Codex's decision recognized it as a fermented food possessing unique flavor.

The ministry said that the decision made by a gathering of food experts in Rome to pass the food standards for ginseng is positive for exports. South Korea considers the root a health food but some countries classify it as a medicinal substance. Medicinal substances operate under different import rules than ordinary food, which makes trading them more difficult.

The latest decision by Codex will be forwarded to member countries of the organization for feedback. That feedback and the initial review will then be examined in detail by a sub-committee board before it becomes an international standard.

The commission, created in 1963 by both the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, is tasked with developing food standards.

The agriculture ministry, meanwhile, said if gochujang is made a standard it will be the second local dish after kimchi to win global recognition as a distinct Korean food. Codex approved the spicy side dish as a distinct international food in 2000.
SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap New)

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