Through a notification dated 1 December 2016, the FSSAI has extended the date related to the declaration of class title, trans fat content and saturated fat content on the label of the food products. The FSSAI had published a notification in the Official Gazette of India in this regard on 25 May 2016. Through a notification direction dated 30 July 2016 the FSSAI had extended the date for compliance.
The FSSAI had also issued another notification on 4 August 2015 relating to the reduction of the maximum level of trans fatty acids to not more than 5% in food products. The time for compliance in this regard had been extended from 27 August 2016 to 27 February 2017 for which directions had been issued on 10 August 2016.
Through this notification, the FSSAI has issued directions for the extension of date for the declaration of class title, trans fat content and saturated fat content on the label of the food products also to 27 February 2017. The FSSAI has stated that since both the earlier notifications are related to trans fatty acids, one for maximum limit and the other about labeling requirements for the same, and so in order to align both the notifications the compliance date for both will now be 27 February 2017.
The FSSAI has set the maximum level of trans fatty acids to 5% and has also given directions for declaring it on food labels because fatty acids are known to increase LDC cholesterol or ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood. An increase in ‘bad’ cholesterol is a bad sign for the heart as it can lead to coronary heart disease. The consumer must therefore not only have reduced amounts of trans fatty acids but must be able to get the information about the level of trans fatty acids in food products from the labels. The nutritional information will enable the consumer to make the right choice of foods especially if they are in the heart disease risk group.