FSSAI Approves Stricter Nutritional Labelling for Packaged Foods

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved changes to nutritional information labeling on packaged food items.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved changes to nutritional information labeling on packaged food items. The new regulations mandate that total sugar, salt, and saturated fat content be displayed in bold letters and larger font sizes.

The FSSAI announced its decision on Saturday, following the 44th meeting of the Food Authority, chaired by Apurva Chandra, the organization’s Chairperson. The offical statement read, “A proposal to display nutritional information regarding total sugar, salt and saturated fat in bold letters and relatively increased font size on labels of packaged food items.” The proposed amendments to the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020, are designed to enhance consumer awareness regarding the nutritional value of food products.

“The amendment aims to empower consumers to better understand the nutritional value of the product they are consuming and make healthier decisions,” the FSSAI stated in an official release.

The regulatory body will issue a draft notification to solicit feedback from stakeholders, including industry representatives, consumer organizations, research institutes, and farmers’ associations. This public consultation process will invite suggestions and objections before finalizing the changes.

Under the new rules, the per-serving percentage contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for total sugar, saturated fat, and sodium content will also be highlighted in bold letters. These changes are intended to provide clearer nutritional information, helping consumers make more informed and healthier choices.

Combatting Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

The FSSAI emphasized that this amendment is part of a broader effort to combat the rise of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and promote public health. By prioritizing clear and distinguishable labeling requirements, the regulator aims to support global efforts to reduce the prevalence of NCDs. “Along with empowering consumers make healthier choices, the amendment would also contribute towards efforts to combat the rise of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and promote public health and well-being,” the statement read.

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Besides these labeling change, there has been continual issuance of advisories by the FSSAI to ensure that FBOs do not give wrong information. Some of the recent instructions include the ban in the use of the term ‘Health Drink’ from the labels and advertisements since it is not defined in the FSS Act 2006 or its requlations. The regulator has also directed fbo to stop its preferred term use to ‘100% fruit juices’ in reconstituted fruit juices and avoid deceptive use of ‘wheat flour’ or ‘refined wheat flour’ on products.

Ministerial representatives included Health and Family Welfare, Commerce, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Law and Justice, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises FSSAI. It is, therefore, clear that their participation symbolizes the synergy that has been employed to transform food safety and protection of the consumer in India.