FSSAI calls for colour-coded labels for high fat, sugar foods

INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has drafted several proposals in the new labelling regulations, mandating manufacturers to include red-color coding on labels of food containing high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt content levels.

This requirement would be implemented in phased manner for a period of three years and aims to help consumers make healthier food choices.

Also, the new regulations targets to bring to light composition of food products with a goal to ensure that citizens have access to and eat healthy food.

“To make the national labelling regulations more robust and effective, FSSAI is in the process of comprehensive revision of Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 with the objective of having three different regulations dealing separately to packaging, labelling and Advertisement & claims requirements,” said FSSAI.

“In this series, two regulations namely “FSS (Packaging) Regulations and FSS (Advertising and Claims) Regulations have been finalised and notified in the year 2018.”

Nutritional information declarations

According to the proposed draft regulations, the packaged food companies will need to declare nutritional information such as calories (energy), Saturated fat, trans-fat, added sugar and sodium per serve on the front of the pack.

The food labels will also declare, per serve percentage contribution to RDA (recommended dietary allowance) on the front of the pack.

Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 only required food and beverage processors to include manufacturing and expiry dates at two different places over the pack, something FSSAI says became difficult for consumer to see both at a glance.

The new regulations propose that date marking must be at one place to make it easier for consumers to read.

The new regulations provide requirement for labelling of food allergen as a way to reduce risk of exposure and prevent anaphylaxis for individuals with food allergies.

It also allows use of standardized precautionary and safety symbols.

Other key features of the regulations include mandatory labeling information like logo of veg, non-veg food for the prepared food; nutritional information in the form of Barcode/Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN); an [X] symbol for food package materials not meant for human consumption.

New logo for vegetarian food which consists of a green colour filled triangle inside a square with green outline will also be included to enable the colour-blind people identify with the food.

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