The Japanese Health Ministry will soon enforce a revised ordinance designed to permit the production and sales of liquid milk for babies.
The revised ministry ordinance will include new standards for liquid milk, which has not been produced or sold in Japan so far. Presently, there are only standards for powdered milk.
Given that liquid milk is useful in times of disaster as it does not need any preparations, and can be kept at room temperatures with babies able to drink it directly from a package, the Japan Dairy Industry Association has been calling on the ministry to draw up standards for it.
The ordinance sets standards on ingredients, and the methods of production, packaging and preservation of liquid milk, stipulating, among others, that such milk needs to be sterilised at 120 degrees celsius for 4 minutes.
Actual production and sales of liquid milk will require permission from the ministry and the Consumer Affairs Agency's labeling-related approval. According to the dairy association, it might take more than a year for liquid milk to be put on sale in Japan. It is expected that liquid milk will cost more than powdered milk in the market.
Already, several Japanese companies like Meiji and Morinaga Milk have expressed interest to introduce new liquid milk products for this segment.