Safety Standards for Food Products

Thorough quality assurance and
product traceability from the raw materials stage to the final consumer

At Kao our human health care-related research tracks the health effects of our products. We are therefore able to expand our health care and food product business to offer healthy products that can be enjoyed with peace of mind as part of a regular diet. Our food products are sold after successive quality assurance assessments pertaining to product effectiveness and safety beginning at the product development stage. These assessments take place within the company, and also include nutritional and medical research conducted with experts from outside the company. In addition, we implement thorough quality control procedures at all stages of manufacturing and processing, and track products from the raw materials stage until final consumption to assure product quality.

Product traceability

Kao has established a traceability system that can track all raw materials used in products, enabling us to trace, by product lot number, not only specific countries of origin, but also compliance with laws and regulations, and base raw materials. After we have verified tracking information from our raw material suppliers, we conclude agreements with them in the form of certifications of material quality. Furthermore, we verify the suitability of the content stipulated in agreements and of management systems through regular audits and meetings with our raw material suppliers.

Safety Verification of Functional Food Products

We verify the degree to which people have experienced eating the ingredients (raw materials) used in our food products (food experience verification). For food products that offer new functions, we then conduct safety testing and verify safety as a functional food product after fully reviewing the test items and conditions in consideration of food experience, intake form, and function.

Standards of food product quality assurance

Kao establishes independent quality assurance standards to ensure raw material and food product safety, including:

  • Standards for setting hazard ranks of food product
  • Control standards for agricultural chemical residues in food product
  • Control standards for food allergens
  • Standards for establishing food ingredient microorganism specifications
  • Standards for establishing expiration labels for food products and food additives

Control of freshness and management of “best-before” dates

Kao determines the “best-before” dates of its food products after building in an appropriate safety factor based on the results of various types of storage tests, thereby setting clear periods within which consumers can enjoy our products without experiencing problems in quality or taste.

To ensure these periods are adequate, we manage product freshness in our production and distribution phases, including the management of “best-before” dates of raw materials. Specifically, we make it a rule to set an appropriate delivery deadline for retailers between the production date and the “best-before” date and have built management and traceability systems based on production lot numbers.

Food product traceability

We have established a food product traceability system that, through product lot numbers, can provide information on raw materials, specific manufacturing conditions, and can track the retail destination and delivery status of our products. Kao’s system of product consistency benefits production planning and inventory control and is applied in the form of thorough controls in place to ensure product freshness.

Flow of Food Product Traceability

Diagram of the flow of food product traceability. It consists of three steps: 1. Quality Assurance. Traceability of Raw materials, Processed materials and Ingredients is managed by the Ingredient information management system. 2. Quality Check. Formulation design, Manufacturing/Processing are managed by the Quality information system and Production planning system. 3. Product Lot Tracing. Traceability of Distribution, Retail and Consumption are managed by Lot information management system and Kao ECHO System (Distributor, Retailer and consumer feedback).

Response to Radioactive Contamination - Securing the Safety of Products

In manufacturing “Healthya” products, Kao checks the monitoring data from government authorities, as well as the information on production areas for ingredients including water and tea leaves. In addition, we conduct voluntary inspections before production and of final products to secure the safety of products.

Inspections of radioactive materials are performed using germanium semiconductor detector, and we have confirmed that the products comply with the New Standard limits for Radionuclides in Foods implemented on April 1, 2012. (MHLW website)

MHLW website

Putting the sample in a Germanium semiconductor detector

Measurement of radioactive materials including cesium

Page Top