By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Indians will soon know if the source of the animal
fat in packaged food products is pork or beef. They will also know
whether the foodstuff they buy in a supermarket contains any items
that would trigger allergic reactions
The Food Standards and Safety Authority of India has now come out with
its draft guidelines on labeling claims. People can decide what type
of food labeling claims laws they would require for a healthy and
disease-free living, by sending their comments and reactions to the
FSSAI on the draft guidelines by the end of January 2013.
The new guidelines, which will be adopted after hearing public
comments, mandate the manufacturers to declare whether the animal fat
or oil was obtained from pork fat, lard or beef fat. They should also
clearly mention if there were any extracts from these sources.
For the first time Indian citizens will also know if, the food they
are eating contains any allergy-causing agents or ingredients known to
cause hypersensitivity in certain individuals. It is mandatory to
mention the presence of such substances even if their percentage is
less than five. They include cereals containing gluten; i.e., wheat,
rye, barley, oats, spelt or their hybridized strains and products,
crustacean and their products,
milk and milk products, eggs and egg products, fish and fish products,
peanuts, tree nuts, nut products, black gram and soybeans.
The FSSAI has also suggested changes in certain products from “best
before” to “use by” in fat spreads both milk and vegetable fat based.
Fresh fruits if coated by was should be mentioned.
Manufacturers can claim “fruit juice” only if the percentage of juice
is 100. If it is diluted, the label should carry “diluted juice”. They
should also mention if the food is processed through irradiation and
the purpose of radiation.
The new guidelines mandates that every package of pan masala or other
similar products containing supari (betel nut) as one of the
ingredients should carry the warning that “this product contains
supari, chewing of which is injurious to health". Products with
chewing tobacco should also carry health warning.
They bar manufacturers from making claims like “home made” and “home
cooked”, which may give an erroneous impression to consumers. However,
claims related to religious or ritual practices like Halal and Jhatka
can be made provided the food conformed to the requirements of the
appropriate religious or ritual authorities and is certified by
authorized agencies concerned.
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
New legislation proposals on labelling claims - Pork and beef fat: Indians will soon know if the source of the animal fat in packaged food products is pork or beef. They will also know whether the foodstuff they buy in a supermarket contains any items that would trigger allergic reactions
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