China Approves Cultivated Ginseng in Food Products

China Approves Cultivated Ginseng in Food Products

Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China has announced that effective from September 4th 2012, cultivated ginseng can be used in food products across the nation.


"Many ginseng growers are expected to benefit from this move that will help China's ginseng industry to develop further and enhance its international competitiveness," said Zhang Lianxue, a ginseng expert at Jilin Agricultural University, on the International Conference on Ginseng held Wednesday in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin province. “This move increases ginseng cultivation as well as research and development on ginseng products.” Said the president of the Changchun University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wang Zhihong,


Ginseng is mainly grown in eastern Asia where is considered the world's largest ginseng production base, ginseng production on Changbai Mountain in Jilin accounts for 85 percent of China's production and 70 percent of the world's total output. Historical records show that China has a 1,660-year history of cultivating ginseng. More than 98 percent of ginseng in Jilin is currently cultivated, not grown in the wilderness.


Ginseng, also known as "the king of herbs," is considered to be nutritious and to have great medical value in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used as an energy drink or ingredient for over 3,000 years, though China has never officially permitted its use in food products until this September.


In 2009, the 32nd conference of the Codex Alimentarius Commission approved the international standard of food products derived from ginseng. It is also the first approved ingredient for food products.


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