Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Additives) Regulation 2011 has proposed change in standards relating to gluten and non-gluten foods. Once amended, regulations 2.14 and 2.15 will be added to the existing regulations and would be called Amendment Regulations 2015 after notification in the Official Gazette.
Besides proposing standards for Gluten in Food products, FSSAI, the regulatory body on food, has also defined the parameters for ‘Gluten Free Foods’ where the maximum limits for Gluten in foods have been defined. The food authority has further outlined the subsequent changes in labelling of food products containing Gluten or being gluten free. The objections or suggestions may also be mailed to FSSAI on or before 17.04.2015.
In the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 after regulation 2.13, the following regulations will be inserted namely:-
2.14. Gluten Free Foods –
(1) these foods consist of or are made of one or more ingredients, which may contain rice, rye, barley, oats and millets or ragi, pulses and legumes, where the inherent gluten has been reduced and the gluten level does not exceed 20 mg/kg in total, based on the food as sold or distributed to the consumer
(2) The product does not contain wheat or any of its ingredients and shall bear the label declaration as provided in the sub-regulation 2.4.5 (52) of Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
(3) A food which by its nature is suitable for use as part of gluten –free diet shall not be named as “special dietary” or “special dietetic” or any other equivalent term. However, such a food may bear a statement on the label that “this food is by its nature gluten-free.”
Provided that it complies with the essential composition provisions for gluten-free as described above and such a statement does not mislead the consumer.
2.15. Foods specially processed to reduce gluten content to a level above 20 up to 100mg/kg.
These foods consist of one or more ingredients from rice, rye, barley, oats, millets or ragi, pulses and legumes which have been specially processed to reduce the inherent gluten present in them to a level above 20 up to 100 mg/kg in total, based on the food as sold or distributed to the consumer and shall bear the label declaration as provided in the sub-regulation 2.4.5 (53) of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation, 2011.
The subsequent changes of the above proposed would also reflect in the FSS (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011, the following shall be inserted in Regulation 2.4.5 as a sub-clause (52) as;
The term “Gluten Free” shall be printed in the immediate proximity of the name of the product in the case of products described in regulation 2.14 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, namely:-
The following shall be inserted in Regulation 2.4.5 as a sub-clause (53) as;
The Term “Low Gluten” shall be printed in the immediate proximity of the name of the product in the case of products described in regulation 2.15 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, namely:-
Gluten refers to those proteins that are found in wheat & related grains. Gluten nourishes plant embryos during germination and is responsible for affects the elasticity of dough, which is responsible for the chewiness of baked wheat products. Gluten is actually composed of two different proteins: gliadin (a prolamin protein) and glutenin (a glutelin protein). It is naturally present in wheat, rye, barley, and related grains, including those wheat varieties known by such names as durum (semolina), spelt, einkorn, emmer, khorasan (Kamut), club wheat, triticale, and farro.
It is most commonly present in products made from wheat flour and in certain other food products in which it is used as an ingredient, providing elasticity in baked goods, for example, as well as texture, moisture retention, and flavor. Gluten may also be found in some cosmetics, hair products, and other dermatological preparations. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.