Through a notification, the FSSA has proposed amendments related to standards for Non-Carbonated Water Based Beverages (Non-Alcoholic). The FSSAI has invited comments and suggestions from WTO-SPS Member Countries as well as stakeholders within a period of 30 days from 29 June 2016. Once published in the official gazettes the amendment will be called Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2016 related to non-carbonated water-based beverages of a non-alcoholic nature.
The change is for the addition of a new sub-regulation which is proposed to be added to the regulation titled ‘Beverages Non-Alcoholic- Carbonated’ to those already existing in Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
The new clause for water-based non-alcoholic beverages will be defined as “Non-Carbonated Water Based Beverages (Non-Alcoholic) means beverages containing water conforming to the standards prescribed for packaged drinking water under Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) 2011 Regulation without added carbon dioxide.”
The beverage can contain sugar, liquid glucose, dextrose monohydrate, invert sugar, fructose, honey, fruits and vegetables extractives, herbs, spices and their derivatives and permitted flavoring singly or in combination.
If herbs are added then they must comply with the safety requirements that have been prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and its Regulations and the use of herbs needs to be declared on the label. Also, the following will be kept in mind when using herbs
- Data regarding toxicological analysis for the herb/herbs to be added to the beverage will have to be provided for its approval
- No substance can be added to the beverage that has any kind of psychotropic effect as has been defined in the schedule of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 and rules made under and substances listed in Scheduled E and E1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.”
Only those food additives may be used in these beverages that are permitted as per Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives), Regulations, 2011.
They need to comply with the microbiological requirements given in Appendix B of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
The FSSAI has also proposed to insert a new table which describes the standards for Microbiological Requirements for Non-Carbonated Water Based Beverages (Non-Alcoholic) and which is as follows.
|1.||Total plate count per ml||Not more than 50cfu per ml|
|2.||Yeast and mould count per ml||Not more than 2cfu per ml
|3.||Coliform count||Absent in 100 ml|
About non-carbonated water-based beverages
Non-carbonated water-based beverages have been growing at a fast rate because of the demand of the health and wellness conscious consumers. Water-based non-alcoholic beverages include a number of beverages that are flavored or enhanced with vitamins and proteins and could also contain other ingredients. In recent years this segment of beverages has become very competitive and includes a wide range. These include energy drinks, some juices, enhanced water, sports drinks and functional beverages that have some unique flavors and are offered in attractive packaging.