The FSSAI has issued directions on 13 December 2017 regarding the labelling requirements for instant noodles. Through its notification dated 18 September 2017 the FSSAI had prescribed standards for seasoning and other products, and which were published in the Official Gazette.
Following this the FSSAI has received several representations from stakeholders stating that the new regulations would require them to display on the label the specific food product category “Instant Noodles” in place of the existing food category which is “Noodles (Proprietary food)”. Therefore, the stakeholders have requested the FSSAI to allow them to continue the use of the current printed packaging for the next six months. After due consideration the FSSAI has decided to permit the use of the existing label which displays noodles as proprietary foods for noodle products up to 30 June, 2018. However, the FBOs will have to comply with the standards for instant noodles as specified in the notification.
According to the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2017 published in September 2017, the seasoning, if it is accompanying the instant noodles, will henceforth be labelled distinctly on the package of the instants noodles. In fact the seasoning and the noodles will be considered two separate products.
To prevent any kind of contradiction in categorisation of instant noodles the FSSAI also laid down the standards for instant noodles in the amendment regulation. According to the amended standards “instant noodles have been described as a product prepared from wheat flour or rice flour or flour of any other cereals, millets and legumes covered in the regulations which may be used singly or in combination or flour from tubers with water as the main ingredient. The noodles may be prepared with or without addition of herbs, condiments and seasoning, spices, iodised salt, sugar, wheat gluten by kneading the dough and extending it, and starches, dried fruits and vegetables, or their products or extracts, nuts, edible protein and egg powder, meat, poultry, marine or their products [whose standards are prescribed in these regulations] may be added, if required.
Instant noodles are also characterised by the use of pregelatinization process and dehydration either by frying in any oil or fat covered under regulations or by other methods and the product shall be presented as either Fried noodles or Non-fried noodles.