FSSAI Amends Rules For Baby Food, Fruit Juice With Immediate Effect

Within the scope of the amendments being made by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to create awareness and educate citizens about potential effects of unhealthy or contaminated food products, an order has been issued to companies to get rid of the ‘100% Fruit Juice’ claim from packaging labels and advertisements. In an official statement issued by the regulatory body, companies have also been asked to use up all the pre-printed packaging material by September 1, 2024.

Addressing the issue of misinformation spread by companies which have been marketing reconstituted fruit juices as 100% pure fruit juice, it was noted that as per Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations of 2018, there was no existing provision to make such claims. Since such inaccuracy leads consumers to make misleading choices and only covers the ingredient used most minimally, given its high water content, reconstituted fruit juices use fruit concentrates or pulp.

Should companies wish to continue selling their beverages using the same formula, the food laws make it mandatory for them to mention the juice reconstituted from the concentrate as such. In the event of nutrient sweeteners exceeding the 15grams/kg limit, companies must label their products as ‘Sweetened Juice’ as per the new order. On the other hand, the food safety body will also be releasing modified rules for Front of Packaging Labelling (FoPL) that simplifies nutritional information in products like baby food.

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Aiming to aid consumers in being more aware about their food choices, the rules will be implemented in phases – where the first phase shall mandatorily warn buyers about the quantity of sugar in baby food on a yellow slip – the size of which will be determined by the percentage of sugar in the product. To illustrate this better, in case a product comprises 10% of sugar, the yellow slip will cover 10% of the packaging. The new rule, which might affect manufacturers like Nestle, Patanjali and Wockhardt, will also follow through next with ready-to-eat products.