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Norma para Aceites de Pescado

El estándar del Codex para el aceite de pescado se adoptó finalmente en la 40ª reunión del Comité del Codex Alimentarius (CAC40) celebrada en Ginebra del 17 al 21 de julio de 2017. La Comisión Alimentaria de CODEX inició el desarrollo de un estándar de Codex para los Aceites de Pescado como un nuevo trabajo, que fue propuesto en la 22° Sesión del Comité de Codex para Grasas y Aceites (CCFO) en el 2011.  La adopción del Estándar del Codex para los aceites de pescado fue parte de la agenda de la 40ava reunión del Comité del Codex Alimentarius (CAC40) celebrada en Ginebra del 17 al 21 de julio. El estándar para el Aceite de Pescado fue adoptado en el Paso 8 (último paso). Fue un largo proceso que incluyó muchas discusiones sobre los detalles más precisos que eran importantes aclarar ya que el propósito de este Estándar es proteger la salud del consumidor y promover prácticas justas en el comercio de aceite de pescado.

Las directrices, estándares y recomendaciones elaboradas por el Codex no son jurídicamente vinculantes; sin embargo, proporcionan un modelo para las leyes y son utilizados por la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) como un punto de referencia acordado en las disputas comerciales globales.

El estándar del Codex para el aceite de pescado se puede encontrar aquí, así como en la lista a continuación, y cubre las siguientes áreas:

  • Alcance:  Fin y propósito
  • Descripción:  Productos que se van a cubrir 
  • Composición esencial y factores de calidad:  Rango de composición de ácidos grasos para  los llamados  Aceites de Pescado y límites para los  parámetros de calidad, tales como  el índice del peróxido y ácidos libres de grasas.
  • Aditivos Alimentarios:  Como la inclusión de tocoferoles y extractos de romero como aditivos en  aceites de pescado.
  • Contaminantes:  Niveles máximos para, por ejemplo, arsénico y plomo.
  • Higiene:  General y Microbiológica.
  • Etiquetado:  Requisitos e información necesaria en las etiquetas, por ejemplo, posible etiquetado para  salmón cultivado.
  • Métodos de Análisis y Muestreo:  Métodos prescritos de análisis para los parámetros de calidad y contaminantes.

July 2017

The adoption of the Codex Standard for Fish Oils was on the Agenda at the 40th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Committee (CAC40) held in Geneva 17 – 21 July. The Standard for Fish Oil was adopted at Step 8 (final step) with reservation by Chile regarding the authenticity and traceability of fish oils, based on the use of fatty acid profiles, which was noted.  

The Committee had agreed to monitor the application of the standard with a view to addressing some of the technical difficulties. A Circular Letter (CL) will be issued to monitor the application of the Standard for Fish Oils with respect to the conformity of named fish oils with its requirements (especially the fatty acid profile) and to its effects on trade, with data to be compiled by Chile and Switzerland. IFFO will circulate the CL to all members once available and will collate the input from members for submission to the co-chairs.

March 2017

IFFO, represented by our Technical Manager Dr Gretel Bescoby, attended the  25th Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) meeting held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 27 February – 3 March. As an expert on Fish Oil biochemistry, Dr Bescoby was able to contribute to the discussion on behalf of IFFO members and request a realistic approach to the standard. The Committee agreed at the meeting to forward the Fish Oil Standard to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for adoption at its meeting in July.  This is the final step that will result, subject to approval, on the implementation of the standard.

However, the Fish Oil Standard once again generated a lot of interest and discussions. Concerns were raised on the use of the fatty acid profile table in the Fish Oil Standard as means of identification of named fish oils. The CCFO came to the following agreement:

  • The CCFO will refer the concern of ensuring the authenticity of all oils (including fish oil) to the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) to address the issue.
  • The application of the Fish Oil Standard will be monitored by evaluating samples to determine whether the fatty acids profiles is in agreement with the ranges provided by the Fish Oil Std.  A Circular Letter will be sent to Codex members asking for data and information on named fish oils to be used in the monitoring of the Fish Oil Std. The work will be led by Chile and supported by Switzerland.

February 2015

Dr Gretel Bescoby represented IFFO as an official Observer at the recent (Feb 2015) Codex Committee meeting on Fats and Oils where the Draft Standard for Fish Oil was discussed in detail. Despite initial misgivings, the Codex Committee is pleased with the progress that has been made. Agreement has been reached on a number of contentious issues and the most important results are listed below: 

  • The category for “Concentrated fish oils” will remain in the proposed standard.
  • The categories for “Extra low oxidised fish oils” as well as  “Fish liver oil devitaminised” has been removed.
  • In addition to the three initial named fish oils (anchovy, cod liver and tuna oil) menhaden oil, krill oil as well as salmon oil has been added. The fatty acid profiles of the salmon oil will differentiate between “Wild” and “Farmed” salmon and it will also be specified on the label whether the source of the raw material is from wild or farmed salmon.
  • Tocopherols have been approved as an additive with addition levels up to 6,000 mg/kg.

The Codex Draft Standard for Fish Oil has now progressed to Step 5 (of 8). Additional data will be obtained in the run up to the next Codex Fats and Oils meeting in 2017 particularly with regards to the fatty acid profiles of anchovy (as requested by Chile) and krill oil and specific labelling issues. A physical working group will once again convene prior to the 2017 meeting to discuss the received information and comments and if there is agreement on the Draft Standard it will progress further and will be submitted to the Executive Committee for critical review and to the Commission with a view to its adoption as a standard.

The report of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils meeting held in February 2015 can be found in the downloads section of this page. The discussions on the proposed draft Standard for Fish Oil can be found in paragraphs 18 - 43 and the Proposed Draft Codex Standard for Fish Oils in Appendix III on page 34.

IFFO would like to thank all members who have provided us with valuable information during this process which enabled us to contribute towards the Draft Codex Standard for Fish Oil.