INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Agency of India has introduced a new logo for Vegan foods to help consumers easily identify and differentiate plant-based foods from non-vegan foods.
According to the Indian food regulator, the new logo was in response to the rising number of people who are switching to the vegan diet for health and environmental reasons.
Just the way the green dot depicts vegetarian food and red indicates non-vegetarian, vegan food will now be designated by the v-shaped green logo shared by FSSAI.
The logo also features a green-colored leaf which depicts that the ingredients found in the food are all plant-based.
The final component is the word “VEGAN” which the authority says will help consumers identify vegan foods and avoid confusion with the letter V.
Arun Singhal, the Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI, said that while everyone was aware of vegetarian and non-vegetarian demarcations on food products, there was a need to mark vegan food as well.
“There is a movement for veganism. There are many people who are allergic to milk and want to avoid animal products completely. For them, we have the vegan food logo that will help people to make their choice,” Singhal said.
In addition to the logo, FSSAI provided a comprehensive definition of what can be described as Vegan to prevent any confusion to food manufacturers.
According to FSSAI, vegan foods refer to those foods which do not make use of any ingredients, additives, or processing aids of animal origin.
This may include milk and milk products, fish, poultry, meat, egg, honey, or materials of insect origin such as silk, dyes, or bone char.
“The food products or ingredients to be called vegan shall not have involved animal testing for evaluating the safety of the final product or ingredient and shall not contain any animal-derived GMOs or products prepared using an animal-derived gene for manufacturing the ingredients or products,” read the draft rules.
This is the first time that the Government of India has recognised vegan products and mentioned the requirements for compliance with food standards.
The Vegan logo was launched alongside the flagging off of 19 mobile food testing vans by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya.
Mandaviya expressed hope that the mobile food testing laboratories will help functionaries in the States/UTs to enhance their outreach and conduct surveillance activities even in the far-flung areas.
The Union Minister also released the results of a pan-India survey for identifying the presence of industrially produced trans fatty acid content in the selected foods.
The study revealed that only 1.34% of the selected foods, had more than 3% industrially-produced trans fats from the total of 6245 samples.
The results of the study convinced the Minister that India is on the right track of becoming industrial trans fats-free in the 75th year of its independence.
Mandaviya also launched various initiatives by FSSAI including the Eat Right Research Awards and Grants to encourage and recognize high-quality research in the area of food safety and nutrition in India.
The Minister also released various e-books that advocate and capture recipes of local seasonal food items, indigenous millets, and plant-based sources of protein.
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