FSSAI recognizes that a specific framework to manufacture and market proprietary food is required which is in accordance with the global best practices. While there is flexibility to innovate the FSSAI has made it clear that the onus of food safety lies squarely on the Food Business Operators (FBO). The regulation on proprietary foods was amended and has been operational since 15 January 2016 and this provides the framework for the use of various ingredients in proprietary foods.
On 23 March 2016 FSSAI had published a questionnaire with regard to proprietary foods wherein it had clarified certain issues for FBOs manufacturing proprietary foods. In this questionnaire one question asked was “Which ingredients (other than additives) can be used in proprietary foods?” Besides other ingredients and additives FSSAI had also mentioned that “proprietary foods containing added vitamins and minerals should not exceed 30 per cent of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Indians.”
In a corrigendum issued on 15 June 2016 the FSSAI has changed the levels of vitamins and minerals. The above will now read as “any addition of vitamins and minerals to proprietary foods many be allowed up to a level of “Not exceeding one RDA” provided there is no health claim on the label. This means that proprietary foods can contain one RDA of vitamins and minerals but only if there are no health claims made in the labelling. This will help consumers determine the level of various vitamins and minerals in one standard serving of proprietary food in relation to their daily requirement.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) the RDA for Indians has been calculated differently for men, women and children. The latest revised (2010) RDA calculations for various vitamins and minerals is as follows
- Calcium RDA is 600mg/d for men, women and children,
- Iron is 17mg/d for men, 21mg/d for women and between 9 to 16 mg/d for children
- Vitamin A (retinol) it is 600 μg/d for men, women and children while
- Vitamin A (ᵝ carotene) is 4800 for adults and 3200 to 4800 for children.
- Vitamin B1 or thiamine is minimum 1.2mg/d and maximum 1.7mg/d for men, 1.0 to 1.4 mg/d for women and 0.5 to 0.8 mg/d for children,
- B2 or riboflavin or 1.4 to 2.1 mg/d for men, 1.1 to 1.7 mg/d for women and 0.6 to 1.0 mg/d for children
- Niacin 16 to 21 mg/ d for men, 12 to 16 mg/d for women and 8 to 13 mg/d for children
- B6 pyridoxine 2mg/d for men and women and 0.9 to 1.6 mg/d for children, vitamin B12 is 0.1μg/d for all,
- Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is 40mg/d for all
- Magnesium it is 340mg for men, 310 mg/d for women and 80 to 120 mg/d for children
- Zinc RDA for men is 12mg/d for women 10mg/d and for children it is 5 to 7 mg/d
- Folic acid for men and women is 200μg/d and for children it is 80 and 120μg/d
When adding vitamins and minerals it is important to have a monitoring system in place so that the nutrient concentration is as permitted or according to required levels. High or low levels are not acceptable as there could be a risk of toxicity.