Through a notification dated 4 January, 2018 the FSSAI has issued directions regarding declaration of CINNAMON if used in food products. It has been brought to the notice of the FSSAI that some Food Safety Officers have been issuing notices to FBOs for ‘non-declaration’ of CINNAMON on products like upma mixes, masala, oats, masala poha, masala noodles where cinnamon is one of the ingredients.
Declaration of Cinnamon on packages of food products is regulated by the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 2011 under regulation ‘Specific Labelling Requirements of other Products’(2.4.4) wherein number 11 has the provision that
Every package containing CINNAMON shall bear the following label
The declaration of Cinnamon (Dalchini) is applicable to a “package” containing Cinnamon as single ingredient.
FSSAI has clarified that there is no need to declare Cinnamon separately on all packages of food containing Cinnamon as compound or as ingredient because the same will have been declared in the list of ingredients. CINNAMON will be declared only on those packages which contain cinnamon as the one and only ingredient.
Cinnamon is one of the most important flavouring agents in foods and drinks and a spice that is used regularly in Indian curries and masala. However, cinnamon can also cause allergic reactions in some people and therefore, it is important to indicate on the labels that a food product has cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is considered to be the “true cinnamon” but being expensive many food manufacturers, use the cheaper Cassia cinnamon.
Courmarin is a biologically-active naturally-occurring flavouring found in cinnamon but excessive use of courmarin could lead to liver damage. True cinnamon has very little courmarin as compared to cassia. The FSSAI has recently set standards for the maximum permissible limits of coumarin in foods. This is intended to curb the use of cassia in place of true cinnamon. Coumarin is typically found in a range of foods containing cinnamon, such as bakery products, breakfast cereals, spices, confectioneries, desserts and to some extent in beverages and milk products.