The FSSAI has proposed a draft amendment in the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on sales) Regulations, 2011 related to the sale of beverages containing artificial sweeteners through vending machines. These regulations will be known as the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales)Amendment Regulations, 2018. The FSSAI has also asked stakeholders for their comments, objections, and suggestions to the proposed draft amendment which must reach the FSSAI office by 28 December 2018.
In the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011, in regulation“Prohibition and Restriction on sale of certain products”(2.3) under the category Restrictions relating to conditions for sale (2.3.14) the FSSAI has added a proviso at the end of the following clause
No person shall sell any food product wherein artificial sweetener is permitted under these regulations, except under packed condition and as per the labeling requirements prescribed under the regulation 2.4.5 (24, 25, 26, 28 & 29) of Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) regulations, 2011. Provided that if such product is sold through the vending machine a display or label in respect of artificial sweetener shall be placed
- on the cups or container in which the product is served
- and also on the vending machine prominently
in accordance with the labelling requirements prescribed under the regulation“Specific restrictions on Product labels”(2.4.5) (24, 25, 26, 28 and 29) of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and labelling ) Regulation,2011. Currently, it is mandatory to declare the presence of artificial sweetener on labels if any packaged food contains any artificial sweeteners and therefore, FSSAI has proposed this labelling for beverages so that consumers are aware when purchasing beverages from vending machines.
About artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes which replace normal sugar in packaged foods and beverages. Though artificial sweeteners are synthetically made like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose some of them can also be made from natural herbs. Artificial sweeteners are used in a variety of foods and beverages like ice-creams, baked delicacies, gelatine desserts, soft drinks, beverages, cereals, tea beverages, sugar-free chewing gums etc. so as to cut calories. FSSAI has different regulations for use of artificial sweeteners in different foods and food manufacturers must be in compliance with the use of artificial sugars in foods and beverages as per the regulations for a particular food or beverage.