The FSSAI has issued a letter dated 01st January 2020 related to Extension of timeline for compliance of labelling provisions for the products “Frozen Dessert or Confection” under Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Thirteenth Amendment Regulations, 2017.
Through a previous notification dated 12 October, 2017 the FSSAI had prescribed revised standards for milk and milk products. Accordingly, the Food Business Operators had been given a transition period of six months, which was up to 1 July, 2018 to comply with these revised standards. Subsequently, the timeline for compliance of the regulations related to ‘Frozen Desserts or Confections with Added Vegetable Oil/ Fat or Vegetable Protein or Both was extended to 1 January 2019 and then still further to 1 January 2020. The extensions were mainly due to the issue that had come up about the nomenclature of these products in relation to ice-cream under these regulations.
FSSAI has received a number of representations from a section of stakeholders where they have requested the FSSAI to further extend the timeline for compliance of these provisions as the issue of nomenclature is still under review by the FSSAI.
After due consideration and since the issue of nomenclature of frozen dessert is still under review at the FSSAI, so it has been decided to further extend the timeline for the compliance of labelling requirements for the category ‘Frozen Desserts or Confections with Added Vegetable Oil/ Fat or Vegetable Protein or Both’ as given in sub-regulation 2.1.15 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Thirteenth Amendment Regulations, 2017, till such time as the FSSAI takes a final decision on the nomenclature of frozen dessert.
However, the Food Business Operators must comply with all the other standards and labelling requirements specified in the regulations for these products.
About Frozen Dessert
The only difference between frozen dessert and ice cream is that frozen dessert contains vegetable fat (referred to as edible vegetable oil/palm oil in the labelling) as an ingredient, where as in ice-cream milk fat is used. Therefore, the frozen dessert manufacturers insist that their products should be labelled as ice-cream and that ice-cream must be labelled as dairy ice-cream if they have exclusive dairy ingredients. In India the source of the fat used in frozen desserts is the only reason why it is different from ice-cream. The manufacturers have mentioned that some countries in Europe and South East Asian countries have the provision of calling frozen dessert as ice-cream.
For frozen dessert products it is mandatory to declare the percentage of milk/fat/edible vegetable oil/ fat and vegetable protein. The list of ingredients is what will lead to the product being labelled as frozen dessert or ice-cream. However, till the issue of nomenclature is resolved these frozen dessert manufacturers have got some breathing space.