Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018 has been gazette notified on 2 August 2018. Keeping in view the various representations received seeking clarity on the notification; for the purpose of ease of understanding, the said regulations following are the FAQs.
Q1. What is the date of compliance of these regulations?
Food Business Operators (FBOs) shall comply with the provisions of these regulations by 1 January 2019
Q2. Is Fortification made mandatory for all FBOs or is it still voluntary in India?
- Fortification of staples mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards (fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018 is not mandatory.
- However, if any FBO wishes to fortify these commodities and use the +F logo, then they shall fortify their products as per standards specified under the Food Safety and Standards (fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018.
- Further, the iodization of salt is mandatory as per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on sales) Regulations 2018.
- However, wherever, the standards of any food products under “Food Safety and Standards Regulations’ prescribe for addition or particular vitamins/ minerals as a mandatory requirement of that particular standard, the same shall be complied with in such cases +F logo shall not be used.
Q3 Is the addition of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) other than the list provided under the Food Safety and Standards (fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018permitted or not?
FBOs can add nutrients other than the list provided under the Food Safety and Standards (fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018 under the category “Proprietary foods” in quantities not exceeding one RDA of the respective micronutrients. However, in this case, also FBOs cannot use the +F logo or term their product as “fortified.”
Q4 After the enforcement of fortification regulations is the addition of Vitamin A in vanaspati required or not? If yes, then can these products be claimed as “Fortified with Vitamin A’?
Vanaspati shall conform to the standards specified under the section 2.2.6 (1) of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011. However, these products cannot be claimed as “fortified not can +F logo be used for its promotion.
Q5 Is it mandatory to write the tagline of Fortification “Sampoorna Poshan Swasth Jeevan” under the logo?
No. Every package of fortified food shall carry on its label the words “Fortified with…..Name of the fortificant) and the logo, specified in Schedule II of the Food Safety and Standards (fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018. Use of the tagline “Sampoorna Poshan Swasth Jeevan” is optional.
Q6 what should be the unit for Vitamin A and Vitamin D in Nutritional Panel? Is it mandatory to write the units in “μg” after 1 January 2019 or “IU”/”mcg” can be written as before?
As per the sub-regulation 2.2.2 (3) (iv) of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 2011, wherever, numerical information on vitamins and minerals is declared, it shall be expressed in metric units. Further for ease of convenience, the units may be mentioned as specified in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018.
Q7 Under which category vitamins and minerals premixes used for food fortification can apply for the licence? Whether +F logo can be used on the package of such premixes?
Premixes of Vitamins and minerals for use in the fortification of foods are not for direct consumption and are not to be added to the final formulations. Hence the same can be licensed under the category 99.5. Nutrients and their preparations and the +F logo cannot be used on the package of such premixes.
Q8 Whether claims can be made on the packages of the fortified food articles?
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has issued directions dated 22.12. 2017, where they have specified the claims that can be mentioned when a food article is fortified as per provisions made under the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018. No other claims can be made on the package of the fortified food articles.
Q9 Whether overages are allowed under this regulation?
Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018 specifies the levels of nutrients in a range and thus, overages are not required. The food product samples should meet the requirements specified in the aforesaid regulations, whenever tested during the whole shelf life.
Q10. What is the significance of the +F logo?
+F logo describes that the particular food is fortified with micronutrients as per the levels specified by the FSSAI in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018
Q11. Whether the staples mentioned in this regulation need to comply with other essential parameters specified under the Foods Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011?
Yes. Staples such as Salt, Oil, Milk, Rice, Atta, and Maida shall conform to the standards specified under the Foods Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, in addition to the provisions specified under theFood Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018.
Q12 Whether +F logo can be sued on the packages of iodised salt (when fortified with iodine)?
As per the directions dated 24 August 2018, iodised salt (when iodised with iodine) has been exempted from the mandatory requirement of the use of the +F logo on fortified foods under Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018
Q13 How to obtain the +F logo?
In order to obtain the +F logo, an FBO must endorse the fortified staples via the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) system of FSSAI. A direction on the same has been issued by the FSSAI on 21.08.2018 (Annexure 2). Post the endorsement the open file of the +F logo will be available for the FBO for incorporating on the label of the fortified products.
Q 14. Is there any additional declaration to be made on the package of the fortified food products?
Commodities which are fortified with iron as per the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018 shall carry an additional declaration on the pack namely “People with thalassemia may take under medical supervision.”