In a notification dated 06 -02-2015 the FSSAI made amendments to the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011 with respect to omitting the use of synthetic colours in thermally processed green beans, wax beans, green peas and processed peas. The objections or suggestions from all stakeholders are invited on or before 05-03-2015 regarding this matter which deals with Appendix A, Table 7, Serial No. C.
Currently, the synthetic colours that are permitted to be used in foods as per regulations are Panceau 4R, Carmoisine, Erythrosine, Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow FCF, Indigo, Brilliant Blue FCF and Fast Green FCF and the recommended quantity against each of these colours is “200 ppm Maximum”. However, as per the new draft notification, the above discussed synthetic food colours should be absent for thermally processed peas, green beans, wax beans and green peas.
FSSAI has made amendments in the said regulations and they will now be known as Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2014.
The changes have been made to Appendix A relating to the list of food additives in Table 7 which reads as “List of Food Additives in thermally processed vegetables” Under this list in serial number C, in item (b) for serial numbers 1 to 8, in columns 4. 7 and 12 for entry “200 ppm maximum” “—“ shall respectively be substituted.
About Food Colours
A colour additive is defined as any dye, pigment or other substance that can give food colour. Colour additives are important in food products as they make the food appear attractive, appealing and appetizing. Since various colours are associated with various foods and flavours of foods we tend to identify them through sight and that is why colours are important. Food business operators try to imitate those colours that are associated with that particular food.
Cherries are red and so are tomatoes but cherries lose their brightness when cooked, so some permitted colours are used to ensure that cherries look red when served. Similar is the case with tomato sauce or green peas we would not consider it tomato sauce unless it was coloured red and no one would like discoloured peas.
Colour food additives can only be used if they are permitted by regulations to be used in food and they have to be used in the limits permitted especially as synthetic colours are seen to be health hazards if not used in the correct limit.