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FSSAI Approves Bold Nutritional Labelling on Packaged Foods

New Delhi: To promoting healthier eating habits, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved a proposal to display nutritional information regarding total sugar, salt, and saturated fat in bold letters and larger font sizes on labels of packaged food items. This decision was made during the 44th meeting of the Food Authority, chaired by Apurva Chandra.

The amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020, is designed to help consumers better understand the nutritional content of the foods they consume, thus enabling them to make healthier choices. The draft notification for this amendment will soon be made available to the public for feedback and suggestions.

Enhanced Nutritional Information

The new regulations will require that the percentage contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for total sugar, saturated fat, and sodium be displayed prominently on food labels. This change is part of Regulation 2 (v) and 5(3) of the FSS (Labelling and Display) Regulation, 2020, which already mandates the inclusion of serving size and nutritional information on food product labels.

Combatting Non-Communicable Diseases

This initiative is also part of a broader effort to combat the rising incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and to promote public health and well-being. Clear and distinguishable labelling is seen as a critical tool in the global fight against NCDs, helping consumers to make informed dietary choices.

Preventing Misleading Claims

In addition to the new labelling requirements, the FSSAI has been proactive in issuing advisories to prevent false and misleading claims by Food Business Operators (FBOs). Recent directives include:

  • Removal of the term ‘Health Drink’ from e-commerce websites, as it is not defined under the FSS Act 2006 or its regulations.
  • Mandating the removal of ‘100% fruit juices’ claims from labels and advertisements of reconstituted fruit juices.
  • Guidelines on the use of terms like wheat flour/refined wheat flour.
  • Restrictions on the advertisement and marketing of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solutions) with additional prefixes or suffixes.
  • Nutrient function claims for multi-source edible vegetable oils.

Collaborative Effort

The meeting was attended by senior officials from various ministries including Health and Family Welfare, Commerce, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Law and Justice, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Additionally, representatives from industry associations, consumer organizations, research institutes, and farmers’ organizations participated in the discussions.

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