Through a notification the FSSAI has finalised the standards for carbonated fruit juices and fruit drinks. These regulations will be called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2016 on their publication in the Official Gazette. The amendments were proposed in August 2016 and were applicable 30 days after they were made public. The FSSAI has now regularised the amendments after taking into consideration the suggestions and objections received from stakeholders. These regulations will be called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2016 relating to ‘revision of carbonated fruit beverages or fruit drinks.’
While the standards given in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, dealing with FRUIT & VEGETABLE PRODUCTS in sub-regulation relating to ‘Carbonated Fruit Beverages or Fruit Drinks’ (2.3.30) will remain the same the FSSAI has only made a slight addition. The FSSAI has defined carbonated fruit beverages or fruit drinks as beverages prepared from fruit juice and water or carbonated water. The beverage could contain sugar, dextrose, invert sugar or liquid glucose as well as peel, oil and fruit essences and other appropriate ingredients.
According to this regulation the requirements for standards are as follows
(i) Total Soluble Solids (m/m) Not less than 10.0 percent
(ii) Fruit content (m/m)
(a) Lime or Lemon juice Not less than 5.0 percent
(b) Other fruits Not less than 10.0 percent
FSSAI further added through a latest amendment:
- If the quantity of fruit juice in the beverage is below 10.0 per cent, but not less than 5.0 per cent. (2.5 per cent.in case of lime or lemon), the product shall be called ‘carbonated beverage with fruit juice.’ In this case the 10.0 requirement of TSS (Total Soluble Solids) shall not apply
- There is a mandatory requirement to declare the quantity of fruit juice on the labels of carbonated fruit beverages or fruit drinks.
The consumer market for soft drinks is growing at 30 per cent annually but consumers are on the lookout for healthier options. A number of companies are already carrying out research to adhere to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request to mix fruit in the carbonated drinks to help farmers as almost 35 percent of fruits get wasted for lack of storage and processing facilities. Accordingly Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Dabur have already announced that they would launch new fruit based drinks. Now that the FSSAI has finalised the regulation for this category of beverages a lot more companies are likely to announce the launch of the new fruit- based carbonated drinks.