Through a notification dated 28 August 2019 the FSSAI has drafted amendments to the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 which prescribe the tolerance limit of micro nutrients in foods. The FSSAI has also invited objections and suggestions from stakeholders, which must reach the FSSAI office by 11 October 2019 so that they may be considered by the Food Authority. These amendments will be known as the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Amendment Regulations, 2019 and will come into force on their final notification in the official Gazette.
In the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 under regulation 4 relating to “Compliance with Standards on Micro nutrient Content in Fortified Foods” the following clause has been amended from
- Any manufacturer who fortifies any food shall ensure that the level of micro nutrient in such fortified food does not fall below the minimum level specified in Schedule- I.
Amended to the following
(1) “Any manufacturer who fortifies any food shall ensure that the declared value of micro nutrients on label of such fortified food shall fall within the levels (minimum-maximum) specified in Schedule-I during the declared shelf life of the products.”;
The second amendment has been drafted in regulations 7 relating to “Packaging and Labelling Requirements” where a provision has been added after clause (3) so the clause will now read as follows:
- provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, shall also apply to the fortified foods.
“Provided that tolerance of +/- 10 per cent of the declared value of micro nutrients on the label may be allowed for the purposes of compliance and analysis at any point in time within declared shelf life of the product.”
About Micro Nutrients
Micro nutrients are one of the major groups of nutrients required by the body for various functions. These vitamins and minerals help the body to produce energy and are required to build immunity, blood clotting, etc. In children they play an important role in growth, bone health and metabolism.
Population groups that are most affected by micro nutrient deficiencies are pregnant and lactating women and young children as they require an increased level of micro nutrients. In India the FSSAI has adopted food fortification as one of the best strategies to safely and effectively prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the required populations. Adding micro nutrients to common staple foods improves the nutritional quality of the foods and helps improve public health. The staple foods most commonly fortified are salt, rice, Atta, Maida, oils and milk.