In its notification dated 5th December 2014, FSSAI has made amendment in the Food and Safety Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011. The FSSAI had placed the draft regulations and invited comments but once the notification is published in the Official Gazette then the regulations will become official and the food industry manufacturing biscuits will have to follow the amendment from the date of publication in the Official Gazette. The last date for the suggestions/comments from all stakeholders is March 5, 2015.
The notification is about a change that has been made in the Food and Safety Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011 in Appendix A related to the ‘List of Food Additives’. The use of Lecithin as a food additive was allowed in Bread (a bakery product) as per ‘GMP’ but it was not allowed to be used in Biscuits (also a bakery product), however as per the draft regulation, Lecithin is proposed to be allowed as a food additive in Biscuits as per ‘GMP’.
In Table 1 (one) relating to the list of food additives for use in bread and biscuits in serial number B which deals with emulsifying and stabilizing agents singly or in – emulsifying and stabilizing combination. According to FSSAI the amendment has been made under serial number B against item number 7 relating to column 4 where instead of the symbol dash ‘—‘ (which is a blank or a dash ) the letters ‘GMP’ will be substituted . Number 7 describes a change in the use of ‘Lecithin’ in column 4 which is for biscuits. Earlier there was a dash placed against lecithin use for biscuits but the amendment has now placed GMP against lecithin in biscuit manufacturing.
Lecithin is available from natural sources like soybeans, eggs, milk, marine sources, rapeseed, cottonseed, wheat germ and sunflower but can also be extracted chemically. Soy lecithin is the most common because it is a byproduct derived from soybean oil manufacturing and so it is inexpensive. Lecithin has many uses in the food industry.
- It is an emulsifier
- helps to stabilize emulsions and this is useful for extending shelf life
- used in nonstick cooking sprays as it prevents sticking
- since it is anti-stick when it is added to dough it makes dough easy to work and also dough rises easily for successful baking process
- used as an anti foaming agent
- but will foam when whipped only with water and then it is used for food decoration