FSSAI has issued new directions dated 07th January 2020 regarding compliance of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Fourth Amendment Regulations, 2019 under Water & Beverages. These amended regulations were to have come into force on their publication in the Official Gazette and the same was published on 30 October 2019.
According to the amended regulations under “General parameters concerning substances undesirable in excessive.” the permissible limits for Calcium (as Ca) was amended to 20mg to 75mg per litre and for Magnesium (as Mg) it was to be 10mg to 30mg per litre of packaged drinking water. All packaged water companies had to comply with these amended standards by 30 October, 2019.
However, FSSAI has received representations from stakeholders regarding transition period for the compliance of limits of Calcium and Magnesium for the standards of Packaged Drinking Water (other than Mineral Water) under these regulations. After due consideration of the representations the FSSAI has decided that the timeline for the implementation for the permissible limits of Calcium and Magnesium in Packaged Drinking Water (other than Mineral Water) is extended for a further period of six months to 1 July 2020.
About Calcium and Magnesium in Water
Calcium (as Ca) and Magnesium (as Mg) in water along with other minerals in water are considered to be healthy. Calcium-rich water has a higher pH and is therefore better. However, excess calcium and magnesium cause permanent hardness and so are undesirable in drinking water. Water that contains calcium at concentrations below 60 mg/l is generally considered as soft between 60–120 mg/l, moderately hard, 120–180 mg/l, hard and more than 180 mg/l, very hard. However, calcium and magnesium are essential minerals and beneficial to human health and inadequate intake of either nutrient can cause adverse health issues.
Companies that sell bottled water will add calcium, magnesium to the packaged water which could have got removed in the purification process. However, the amount of calcium and magnesium they add to the bottled water must be in compliance with the standards as prescribed by FSSAI.