According to the report on trends in the kimchi industry in 2016 by the World Institute of Kimchi, 13.7 percent of the kimchi consumed in Korea was imported. Some 47 percent of the Kimchi served at restaurants and cafeterias was from abroad, with 90 percent of it from China.
Koreans consumed was 1.85 million tons of kimchi, up 15 percent from the previous year – 36.1 kilograms of kimchi per person last year on average. Some 63 percent of the kimchi was made at home, while the rest was purchased ready-made.
The kimchi institute urged the government to draw up proper guidelines for imported kimchi, citing growing public anxiety over food safety.
“While the kimchi manufacturers in Korea are required to meet Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point rules (to assure food safety), most of the kimchi imported from China is not,” the institute said, citing preservatives, artificial sweeteners and germs detected in Chinese kimchi in recent years.
“There should be measures to manage the hygiene and safety of kimchi.”