The world of food safety and standards is constantly evolving to ensure the quality and safety of the food we consume. Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a significant directive under Section 16(5) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which has garnered attention in the industry. This directive pertains to the compliance of quality parameters in various types of flour and the moisture content specifications for mixed millet flour.
Here, we’ll delve into the details of these changes and their implications for consumers and food business operators.
On March 4, 2021, the FSSAI introduced standards for Bajra Flour (Pearl Millet Flour) and Jowar Flour (Sorghum Flour) through the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulation, 2021. Similarly, on November 15, 2021, standards were prescribed for Multigrain Flour (Atta) and Mixed Millet Flour under the Food Safety & Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Fifth Amendment Regulations, 2021.
Food Business Operators were initially required to comply with these new regulations from January 1, 2022, for Bajra Flour and Jowar Flour and from June 1, 2022, for Multigrain Flour and Mixed Millet Flour.
Extension of Compliance Deadlines
However, recognizing the need for a transition period, the FSSAI issued directives on July 27, 2022, and February 15, 2023, keeping the enforcement of ‘Alcoholic Acidity’ and ‘Total Dietary Fiber’ parameters in abeyance until December 31, 2022, and June 30, 2023, respectively. These extensions provided food businesses with more time to adjust to the new standards.
Moisture Content Specifications
Additionally, the maximum limit for moisture content in Mixed Millet Flour was revised to 13%. This change was implemented immediately on July 27, 2022, and re-operationalized from January 27, 2023.
The most recent directive, dated September 25, 2023, extends the compliance deadline for ‘Alcoholic Acidity’ and ‘Total Dietary Fiber’ parameters until December 31, 2023. Furthermore, the provision regarding ‘Moisture Content’ in Mixed Millet Flour will be re-operationalized from July 27, 2023.
What This Means for Consumers and Businesses
For consumers, these changes are essential for ensuring the quality and safety of the food products they purchase. It guarantees that flour products meet specific nutritional and safety standards.
For food business operators, compliance with these standards is crucial. Adhering to the prescribed parameters ensures that the products they offer are safe and meet the expectations of consumers.
Regulatory changes, such as those made by the FSSAI, are pivotal in enhancing food safety and ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality products. The extensions granted in this directive give businesses valuable time to align with the updated standards. It’s a reminder of the ongoing commitment to enhancing food safety and quality in India, a mission that benefits everyone involved in the food supply chain, from producers to consumers.