Customers browse soft drinks at a Big Bazaar hypermarket in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

FSSAI Wants Packaged Foods High On Fat, Sugar Or Salt To Flash Red

Packaged foods will soon have to flash red if they have high fat, sugar or salt content, if the food regulator’s draft labelling and packaging norms come into effect.

According to the draft “Labelling and Display" regulations proposed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India on Thursday, food companies will be required to put “red colour coding” on the front side of their packaging to denote high fat, sugar and salt content levels of their foods.

FSSAI said that its new labelling norms are ready for draft notification. These will supersede the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.

"The idea behind the new labelling norms is to enable citizens to know more about the composition of food products, so that they can make an informed choices," FSSAI said in a statement.

According to the proposed draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, packaged food companies will need to declare nutritional information such as calories, saturated fat, trans fat, added sugar and sodium per serve on the front of the pack. They would also have to declare per-serve percentage contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowance on the front of the pack.

The other features of the new labelling norms are:

  • Mandatory labelling regarding allergens, vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods.
  • New logos for vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods.
  • Food not meant for human consumption shall bear an [X] mark.
  • Manufaturing and expiry dates have to be printed together at one place.

These requirements would be implemented in phased manner over a period of three years. FSSAI has invited suggestions and objections from stakeholders within 30 days from the publication of the draft regulations.

According to FSSAI, food labelling serves as a primary link of communication between the manufacturer and the consumer and covers both food safety and information of consumer interest.

To make food labelling norms more robust and effective, FSSAI is in the process of overhauling the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, with the objective of having three different regulations dealing with packaging and labelling, advertisement and claims.

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