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New Standards for Edible Ices in South Africa: Enforceable on Jul 30, 2024

June 19 2024

On July 30, 2024, new regulations governing the classification, packing, and marking of edible ices intended for sale in South Africa will come into force. These regulations, published under the Agricultural Product Standards Act, aim to...

On July 30, 2024, new regulations governing the classification, packing, and marking of edible ices intended for sale in South Africa will come into force. These regulations, published under the Agricultural Product Standards Act, aim to standardize the quality and safety of edible ice products in the market. The article address various aspects of production and labeling to ensure consumer safety and product consistency.

Classification, packing and marking of edible ices intended for sale in South Africa

This notification was timely identified and is available to users through the SGS Digicomply Regulatory Agenda. It offers a comprehensive list of regulatory deadlines, including historical and upcoming dates, with detailed insights and analysis.  Explore the demo to try this tool in action.


Classification and Compositional Standards

The regulations specify clear definitions and compositional requirements for various classes of edible ices, including dairy ice-cream, frozen yogurt, and fruit sorbets. Each category has specific criteria for fat content, total solids, and permissible ingredients:

  1. Dairy Ice-cream:
    • Must contain more than 7% butter fat.
    • Must have at least 33% total solids.
    • Overrun should not exceed 130%, with a maximum deviation of 3%.
  2. Frozen Yogurt:
    • Should contain at least 3% fat and 33% total solids.
    • Can be blended with dairy ice-cream or regular ice-cream mix, with the final product containing a minimum of 30% yogurt.
    • For fat-free frozen yogurt, the fat content should be 0.5% or less.
  3. Frozen Fruit Sorbet:
    • Defined as an aerated and frozen product primarily composed of water and sugars.
    • Must contain at least 15% fruit.
    • No added butter fat, milk solids, or whey powder.
    • May contain up to 2.9% vegetable fat.
    • Overrun should not exceed 130%, with a maximum deviation of 3%.
  4. Frozen Fruit Ice:
    • Must contain at least 6% fruit.
    • No added butter fat or milk solids.
  5. Flavoured Ice:
    • Primarily composed of water and sugars.
    • Contains less than 6% fruit, or only flavorings and colorants.

Packaging and Labeling Requirements

The regulations establish stringent guidelines for packaging and labeling to ensure product integrity and inform consumers accurately:

  1. Containers:

    • Must be made from materials that prevent contamination and do not alter the taste or quality of the contents.
    • Must be strong enough to withstand standard handling and transportation.
    • Should be intact, clean, and properly closed.
  2. Outer Containers:

    • Must meet the same strength and cleanliness requirements as inner containers.
    • Must not impart any undesirable taste or flavor to the contents.
  3. Marking:

    • All containers must be clearly labeled in English, with details including:
      • The class designation and any additions to the class designation.
      • Ingredients, including any added flavorings and foodstuffs.
      • Country of origin.
      • Name and address of the manufacturer, packer, importer, or seller.
      • Date markings (e.g., "best before", "use by").
    • For single-serve portions sold from dispensing machines, the class designation must be prominently displayed on the machine in letters at least 50 mm high.
  4. Specific Marking Requirements:

    • When individual units are packed in a multipack, the expression “NOT FOR INDIVIDUAL SALE” must be indicated on each container containing the individual units in a letter size of at least 2 mm.
    • The word sequence of the class designation can be altered, provided it does not mislead or create a misleading impression regarding the product's quality, nature, origin, or composition.
  5. Claims and Comparative Markings:

    • No claims that create a misleading impression about the quality, nature, class, origin, or composition of edible ices are allowed.
    • No comparative claims regarding fat, sugar, sodium, or energy value are allowed unless the comparison is based on a relative difference of at least 25% and is clearly marked.

Ingredient and Additive Regulations

The standards delineate permissible ingredients and additives, ensuring that products are safe and meet nutritional expectations:

  1. Fat Content:
    • Specific to each product class. For instance, frozen yogurt must contain a blend of butter fat and/or vegetable fat, depending on the mix.
  2. Additives:
    • May include other foodstuffs and food additives as long as they comply with the set standards for each category.
    • Flavorings must be clearly indicated on the label, with quantitative ingredient declarations as per the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act.

Sampling and Analysis

To maintain quality control, the regulations outline procedures for sampling and analysis:

  1. Sampling:
    • Inspectors will collect samples directly from factories or, in the case of imports, at entry points.
    • Samples must be kept frozen and transported in refrigerated conditions to the laboratory.
  2. Analysis:
    • Methods for determining fat content and total solids are specified, utilizing internationally recognized standards such as those from the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
    • The overrun of products must be determined either by calculation or using specific gravity and displacement methods.

Compliance and Penalties

Failure to comply with these regulations will result in penalties as stipulated under section 11 of the Act. Non-compliance can lead to fines or imprisonment, reinforcing the importance of adhering to the established standards.

Additional Specifics

  1. Mix Instructions for Instant Products:
    • Clear mixing instructions must be provided for instant mix products intended for preparation either at home or on premises.
  2. Restricted Particulars:
    • No other class designations except the applicable one are allowed on the container.
    • Illustrations or depictions of specific fruits are only allowed if the product contains at least 6% fruit.
  3. Date Markings and Batch Codes:
    • Must be clearly marked on each container, and not removable or alterable.


The enforcement of these new standards from July 30, 2024, marks a significant step in ensuring the safety, quality, and transparency of edible ice products in South Africa. These comprehensive regulations not only protect consumers but also help maintain fair competition and product integrity in the market. Producers and suppliers must familiarize themselves with these requirements to ensure full compliance and avoid any legal repercussions. This thorough approach ensures that consumers receive high-quality products and that the market operates under fair and transparent conditions.

For more detailed inquiries, stakeholders can reach out directly to the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries or utilize the SGS Digicomply platform for comprehensive insights and updates. Feel free to get in touch now to learn about implementing the Regulatory Intelligence Hub for your company. Or explore the demo and try this tool in action.

Tags: food safety, regulatory compliance, food regulations, Regulatory Standards, Regulatory Agenda, South Africa, Edible Ices


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