Pre packaged food products and labelling regulations

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The FSSAI notified the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020 on November 17, 2020[1]. The Regulations have notified a change in the display of nutritional information and calculation of nutrients for the pre-packaged products.

The Packaged Food companies have approached the Food Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) and requested that food items like cookies, confectionaries, juices to be kept out of the front of pack labeling regulations[2] as requested by the companies. The food companies have alleged that packaged food items based on their fat sugar and salt content as proposed in the Traffic Labelling Regulations, 2019 should be delinked from the new FSSAI Labelling Regulations, 2020.

BACKGROUND

Currently, most of the packaged food companies print nutrition details of the contents, including their recommended daily values, at the back of the package.

CHANGES INTRODUCED

The legislation has mandated the packaged food companies to label high fat, sugar and salt contents in the front of the package itself. The food labels will also declare, per serve percentage contribution to RDA (recommended dietary allowance) on the front of the pack.

This can be explained through a comparison drawn considering the various products:

AIM OF THE NEW LEGISLATION:

  • To manage the Recommendatory Dietary Allowance of the products for the consumers. The RDA is ceiling on the amount of fat, sugar, sodium component in the product to maintain the healthy life.
  • The new regulation has under Regulation 3(b)[3] has prescribed the limits of the nutrients, whereby the definite limits act a restraint on the companies to maintain the product as healthy.
  • The display of all types of salt, sugar and fat is the new component given by Regulation 3 (a).
  • The display of sodium and cholesterol which was only claimed in the old regulation of 2011 has been mandatory for the companies.
  • The display of dietary fiber has been made compulsor

THE REGULATION HAS BEEN DEFINED AS FOLLWS:

According to Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020[4]:-

STEPS TAKEN BY RENOWNED FMCG COMPANIES

  1. Haldiram Bhelpuri [5]

The new amendment makes it mandatory for the companies to display requirement which were not present in the old nutritional information in order to manage its dietary recommendatory allowance which includes-Sugars and Added sugar and Fat, Fatty Acid, Trans Fat, Poly Saturated Fats and all other types of Fats and Cholesterol.

2. MAGGIE [6]

The Maggie has classified the each nutritional information and showcased the nutrients information in per serving form and also to include the percentage of per serving in it, [7]which is an essential requirement according to new regulation.

GDA- Guideline Daily Amounts of an Average Adult (2000Kcal) pack contains 8 serves.

CONCLUSION

The Regulations providing for mandatory display of details of the sugar content and salt content on food packaging has been raised as a concern by some packaged food companies. However, a detailed display of such ingredients will aid consumers in taking an informed decision.

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