India Updates Various Food Standards and Food Additive Regulations

You are here

November 5, 2020Chanyanis UtiskulBlog

On 13 October 2020 the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) published in the Federal Gazette the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Eighth Amendment Regulations, 2020 (8th amendment of 2020), revising the requirements for food ingredients, additives and microbiological standards. 

The regulation took effect on the date of the Gazette. Full compliance under the new provision is required by 1 July 2021.

Verisk 3E Review

The amending regulations (8th amendment of 2020) seek to update many of India’s food product standards as prescribed under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 (the principal regulations). The relevant key changes apply to food product standards, food additives and microbiological requirements.

Food product standards

The amending regulations remove some ingredients and composition-related standards for fortified food under the cereal and cereal products and edible common salt categories. The affected products are:

  • Fortified atta (wheat flour)
  • Fortified maida (refined flour)
  • Iodized salt
  • Iron-fortified common salt
  • Toddy (Palm wine or coconut alcohol) 

Food Additives

New requirements to be applied to use as food additive substances are causing changes to the List of Permitted Food Additives (Chapter 3, Section IV, Appendix A) of the principal regulations. Updates include the addition of new substances and the revision of the existing substance. A sample of affected substances and food products follows:

Newly added food additives include:

  • Sorbitan esters of fatty acids for use in various bakery products. Permitted products include crackers, bread and bakery wares. The recommended maximum level is 10,000 mg/kg and must be used as a condition for “on the flour basis.”
  • Sorbitan monostearate for use in yeast and yeast-like products (10,000 mg/kg).
  • Nisin for fruit juices (coconut water only, allowed at 5,000 IU). A new condition of use (i.e., Note FS04b: “for use in pre-packed coconut water only") is also newly added to the Note section of Appendix A under Section IV  of the principal regulations.
  • Paprika oeloresin, curcumin and turmeric for use in snacks and savories, at the GMP level.

Updates on the use of existing permitted additives include:

  • Use of glazing agent in confectionery including hard and soft candy, nougats. Paraffin wax is no longer a permitted additive for such products. Liquid paraffin remains a permitted substance and must be used at the GMP level; and
  • Update requirements (minor changes) of concentrates (liquid or solid) for water-based flavored drinks on additives permitted in synthetic syrups for dispensers and sharbat (synthetic syrup).

Microbiological Requirements

A replacement of Table 3A is newly added related to microbiological parameter requirements in spices and herbs. This part provides hygienic criteria and testing and sampling standards required during the production process. 

Verisk 3E Analysis

This update requires changes in the regulatory compliance of many food standards. Manufacturers and importers of affected products should review and consult the details of each change. The deadline for compliance is by July 2021.

Products not meeting these standards will be considered in violation of the Food Safety Act, 2006 and subject to recall, confiscation and/or fines.