The FSSAI has issued a notice which states that besides the previous standards contained in regulation 3.1 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, some more standards have been added. These standards deal with ‘Food Additives’ and these additional standards will be operational with immediate effect.
According to the definition given by the FSSAI in the new regulations food additive means “any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used as a typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological (including organoleptic) purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result (directly or indirectly), in it or its by-products becoming a component of or otherwise affecting the characteristics of such foods. The term does not include contaminants or substances added to food for maintaining or improving nutritional qualities.”
The categories of foods and the levels of permitted additives are in accordance with the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) as they have been determined to be safe for use at those levels by various criteria. In the additional regulations, FSSAI has stated that the use of additives is justified when there is no health risk to consumers, does not mislead the consumer or it serves one or more of the following technological functions
- To preserve the nutritional quality of the food or if the food does not constitute an item in the normal diet. If the intentional reduction is done then it must be only as permitted when it is as per these regulations
- To provide the necessary ingredients or constituents for foods manufactured for groups of consumers having special dietary needs
- To enhance the keeping quality or stability of a food or to improve its organoleptic properties, provided that this does not change the nature, substance or quality of the food so as to deceive the consumer
- To aid in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, transport or storage of food, provided that the additive is not used to disguise the effects of the use of faulty raw materials or of undesirable (including unhygienic) practices or techniques during the course of any of these activities.
While carryover of food additives is permitted from raw materials but it should not be more than the maximum limited permitted. However, in the following foods, no carry-over of additives is permitted.
- Infant formulae, follow-up formulae, and formulae for special medical purposes for infants
- Complementary foods for infants and young children
The broad categories that cover the additional standards are for the following:
- Milk and milk-based drinks including buttermilk, yogurt, beverage whiteners, cream cheese, whey, chocolate milk, condensed milk etc.
- Fats and oils essentially free from water, butter oil, anhydrous milk fat, ghee vegetable oils and fats lard, tallow, fish oil, and other animal fats, fat and cocoa spreads
- Edible ices, including sherbet and sorbet
- Fruits and vegetables (including mushrooms and fungi, roots and tubers, pulses and legumes, and aloe vera), seaweeds, and nuts and seeds and includes fruit and vegetables that are fresh, peeled, cut, processed, frozen, dried, canned, bottled fruit, jams, jellies, marmalades, fruit bar/toffee and fruit cheese, pulp, cooked fruit, fruit fillings, etc.
- Bakery wares of all kinds like any type of bread, cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, etc.
- All kinds of meat and meat products including poultry that is fresh, processed, frozen cured, treated or not treated etc.
- All kinds of fish and fish products, including molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms
- Eggs and egg products
- Sweeteners including honey, sugars, glucose, lactose, jaggery, and gur, etc.
- Salts, spices, soups, sauces, salads and protein products, herbs etc.
- Foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses like infant formula, dietetic foods, food supplements, etc.,
- Beverages, excluding dairy products, non-alcoholic, waters natural and mineral, fruit and vegetable juices, nectars, sports drinks, carbonated, coffee, tea, alcohol, beer, cider, meads etc.
- Ready-to-eat savories that are potato, cereal, flour or starch based, processed and coated nuts and nut mixtures like dried fruit, fish-based snacks. etc.
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