Through a notification dated 9 September 2016, the FSSAI has given directions regarding the labeling of nutritional information and the list of ingredients on returnable glass bottles. There are some issues in the labeling provisos in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation 2011under ‘Labelling of Pre-packaged Foods’ (2.2.2) in the category ‘Nutritional information.’ The regulation states that Nutritional Information or nutritional facts per 100gm or 100ml or per serving of the product shall be given on the label of all pre-packaged products. Therefore energy value is to be provided in kcal, protein, carbohydrate, sugar, and fat in gram (g) or milliliters (ml). Type of fatty acids or the amount of cholesterol, the amount of saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids must be given in gram (g) cholesterol in milligram (mg) and the amount of trans fatty acid in gram (g) in addition to the other requirements.
However, if this nutritional information is applicable to be placed on returnable new glass bottles manufactured and used for packing of such beverages on or after 19th March 2009, the list of ingredient and nutritional information is to be given on the bottle.
This direction is also applicable for the category ‘Exemptions from labeling requirements’. The Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation 2011says that “ in case of liquid products marketed in bottles, if such bottle is intended to be reused for refilling, the requirement of list of ingredients shall be exempted, but the nutritional information on veg and non-veg food products must be given on the label. Provided that in case of such glass bottles manufactured after March 19, 2009, the list of ingredients and nutritional information shall be given on the bottle.”
The FSSAI in the directions has stated that both these labeling requirements (nutritional information and list of ingredients to be placed on returnable glass bottles) are presently under review. Therefore the Food Authority, after much consideration about the concerns expressed on labeling of nutritional information and list of ingredients for returnable glass bottles has decided to permit FBOs to display this nutritional information and list of ingredients on the caps/crowns of such glass bottles. This will be permitted only till such time as the new harmonized labeling and claims regulations are put in place.