In a notification dated 28 April 2016, the FSSAI has proposed some amendments to the regulations regarding packaged drinking water. The proposed amendments have been made in the regulation that deals with BEVERAGES, under sub-regulation dealing with “Packaged drinking water (other than Mineral water).” The FSSAI has through the notification made public the proposed changes so that all those likely to be affected by them are made aware.
The FSSAI has also invited objections and suggestions that should reach them before 28 May 2016. Once the proposed amendments are accepted then the amendments will be called Food Safety & Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulation 2016 related to standards for Packaged Drinking Water.
The proposed changes have added new definition which states that the packaged water is “water, other than natural mineral water, which is likely to be used for human consumption and which is offered or sold in packaged form, by whatsoever name called, offered or sold.”
FSSAI has specified that the source of the water used for packaged drinking water and says that it will be derived from surface or civic water supply or underground water or sea water or any other consistent source of water. It has also made some additions in the kinds of specific treatments packaged drinking water can be subjected to.
The types of specific treatments packaged water can be subjected to, are; decantation, filtration, combination of filtration, aerations, filtration with membrane filter depth filter, cartridge filter, activated carbon filtration, demineralization, remineralisation, and reverse osmosis. In case any water packaging company uses the treatment process known as remineralisation then the ingredients used for the process shall have to conform to food grade or pharma grade quality.
Water will be packed after disinfecting to a level that shall not lead to any harmful effect in the drinking water by means of chemical agents or physical methods to reduce the number of micro-organisms to a level below scientifically accepted level for food safety or its suitability. If sea water is used as packaged water, it has to undergo desalination and related processes before it is subjected to any of the above specified water treatments prior to disinfection and packaging.
FSSAI has also made an addition to the standard requirements of containers used for packaged drinking water. It has specified that all packaged water containers must be sealed and “of different compositions, forms and capacities” so that they are suitable for direct consumption without further treatment.
Packaged drinking water must be clear and should not contain any sediments, suspended particles and extraneous matter. All packed drinking water will also need to comply with the following parameters so they are within permissible limits
- Microbiological requirements where all the disease causing bacteria have to be totally absent from the packaged drinking water
- Organoleptic and physical parameters
- General parameters concerning substances undesirable in excessive amounts
- Parameters concerning toxic substance
- Parameters concerning radio-active residues
- Parameters concerning pesticide residues
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