The FSSAI has extended the timeline for compliance of the labelling provisions for the products “Frozen Dessert or Confection” under Food Safety and Standards (Food Products and Food Additives) Thirteenth Amendment Regulations 2017
On 12 October 2017 the FSSAI had notified the revised standards for Milk and Milk Products and had published the same in the Gazette of India. According to this notification a transition period of six months, up to 1 July 2018, had been given to the Food Business Operators to comply with these revised standards.
Subsequent to the timeline for compliance for regulations related to Standard for Frozen Desserts or Confections with Added Vegetable Oil/ Fat or Vegetable Protein, or both had been extended up to 1 January 2019 and then further to 1 July 2019. The timeline extensions for compliance had been granted because of the issue of nomenclature of these products vis-à-vis ice-cream in these regulations.
FSSAI has again received representations from a section of the stakeholders requesting a further extension of the time for compliance of the above-mentioned provisions as the issue of nomenclature is still under FSSAI review.
After due consideration of the representations and the fact that the issue is still under consideration by FSSAI, it has been decided to extend the timeline for compliance of the labelling requirements for Frozen Desserts or Confections with Added Vegetable Oil/ Fat or and/ or Vegetable Proteinfor a period of six months up to 1 January 2020 or till further order, whichever is earlier. However, the Food Business Operators are required to comply with the standards/ labelling provisions specified for the said products under these regulations.
Frozen Desserts vis-à-vis Ice-creams
The issue on hand is that both frozen desserts and ice-creams contain similar milk and milk solids. However, the difference is that frozen desserts contain vegetable fat/ oil in place of milk fat. The process for making ice-cream and frozen desserts is the same. In Indiabrands manufacture frozen dessert made from vegetable oils rather than pure milk. Ice cream which is made from milk solids, but which contains non-dairy fat is often categorized and labelled as frozen dessert in India.
According to the revised standards for Milk and Milk products the labelling requirement prescribed that for Frozen desserts or confections with added vegetable oil/fat or vegetable proteins, or both there must be a mention the percentage amount on the product label.
“Every package of frozen dessert or frozen confection shall bear the following label, namely:
Contains ………. % milk fat/edible vegetable oil/vegetable fat and vegetable protein product.”
There were concerns over the labelling for the frozen desserts or confections with added vegetable oil/fat and/or vegetable protein and the nomenclature of these products, vis-a-vis ice cream.