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Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018

On 02.08.2018, FSSAI notified Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018. To obtain a clear picture and for a better understanding of these regulations, following frequently asked questions have been released by FSSAI Q1. What is the last date for putting in effect these new guidelines? It is mandatory for the Food Business […]

On 02.08.2018, FSSAI notified Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018. To obtain a clear picture and for a better understanding of these regulations, following frequently asked questions have been released by FSSAI

Q1. What is the last date for putting in effect these new guidelines?

It is mandatory for the Food Business Operators (FBOs) to adhere to all the guidelines notified in these regulations by 01.01.2019.

Q2. Is fortification compulsory or optional for FBOs or in India?

  • Fortification of staples stated in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018 is not compulsory.
  • The fortification of the products and use of +F logo is allowed to FBO only if the enrichment of the food is done according to the standards laid down by the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018.
  • According to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on sales) Regulations, 2018, adding iodine to commercial salt is mandatory in India.
  • Whenever the food articles standards stated under ‘Food Safety and Standards Regulations’ instructs for adding specific minerals or vitamins as an obligatory demand of that particular standard, the same shall comply, but +F logo shall not be used.

Q3. Can micronutrients, for example, minerals and vitamins, other than those listed under the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018, be added?

Yes, the addition of micronutrients other than those listed in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018, under the category of ‘Proprietary foods’ in amounts not more than one recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of the respective micronutrients is allowed to FBOs. However, FBOs are restricted from using the +F logo. Also, they are not allowed to label their goods as ‘fortified’.

Q4. Should the tagline that signifies that the food has been fortified ‘Sampoorna Poshan Swasth Jeevan’ be written compulsorily under the logo?

Using the phrase ‘Sampoorna Poshan Swasth Jeevan’ is not mandatory. However, as per Schedule II, every fortified package of food must have the name of the fortificant and logo on its label as required by the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018.

Q5. Is the addition of vitamin A to vanaspati needed after imposing fortification regulations? If yes, can vanaspati then be claimed as ‘Fortified with Vitamin A’?

Vanaspati ghee must comply with the standards mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 (section 2.2.6 [1]). However, these food articles cannot be promoted as fortified nor can they be declared as fortified or use an +F logo.

Q6. Which category accepts the application of license for premixes containing vitamins and minerals used while fortifying food? Can a +F logo be used on the packaging of such products?

Vitamins and mineral premixes used to fortify foods are neither for direct consumption nor for the final formulations. Therefore, category 99.5 can be used for licensing these. Neither the nutrients/their preparations nor the +F logo can be used on such packages of premixes.

Q7. On the nutritional panel, what is the unit for vitamins D and A for a packaged product? Is it compulsory after 01.01.2019 to state the units in ‘μg’ or can ‘IU’/‘mcg’ be written as before?

According to Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, as per the sub-regulation 2.2.2 (3) (iv), the numerical data pertaining to minerals and vitamins shall be expressed in metric units. For greater convenience, the units may be mentioned in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations), 2018.

Q8. State the significance of the +F logo.

When a certain food is fortified with specific levels of micronutrients as per the FSSAI in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations), 2018, it is denoted by +F logo.

Q9. Can packaged food products that are fortified mention claims on their packaging?

FSSAI has explicitly mentioned in their directive issued on 22.12.2017 that when a food product is fortified according to the guidelines made under the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018, it can make the corresponding claim on the package. The package of the fortified food articles must have no other claims on it.

Q10. Does this regulation permit overages?

Overages are not a requirement as per the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Food) Regulations, 2018, as it clearly states the levels of nutrients as a range. Throughout their shelf life, the food product samples should fulfil the requirements mentioned in the previous regulations.

Q11. Can the +F logo be used on an iodised salt pack if it has been fortified with iodine?

As per guidelines issued on 24.08.2018, iodised salt is free from the obligatory mention of the use of the +F logo on packages of fortified foods products as per the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations), 2018.

Q12. Is it compulsory for the staples specified in this directive to abide by the other essential requirements listed under the Foods Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011?

The following staples shall adhere to the standards stated under the Foods Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, along with those specified under the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations), 2018:

  • Salt
  • Rice
  • Atta
  • Milk
  • Maida
  • Oil

Q 13. Is any extra declaration on the package of the fortified food products needed?

According to the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Food) Regulations, 2018, products fortified with iron shall carry an extra declaration on the pack, indicating the need for medical supervision in people with thalassemia while taking these products.

Q14. How can one procure the +F logo?

An FBO must receive endorsement of the fortified staples via the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) system of FSSAI to obtain the +F logo. The FSSAI has issued detailed instructions on the same on 21.08.2018 (Annexure 2). After the endorsement and subsequent approval, the FBO can access the open file of the +F logo for placing it on the label of his fortified food products.

Reference

  1. FSSAI Gazette Notification of Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 [Internet] [Updated Aug 10, 2018]. Available at: https://www.fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:aaf95c16-2c39-4634-98c9-93a0ef1da0b1/Gazette_Notification_Food_Fortification_10_08_2018.pdf. Accessed on Dec 13, 2018.
  2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 [Internet] [Updated Oct 30, 2018]. Available at: https://www.fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:b1e21140-3cd0-4e13-b57f-75440e98996e/FAQs_Food_Fortification_Regulation_31_10_2018.pdf. Accessed on Dec 13, 2018.

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