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Monday, July 21, 2014

More detailed labelling on foods: Even the salt, sugar and transfat content to be prominently mentioned

This picture is just for representational purposes
Tall claims and misleading words have always been the jargon with packaged foods. This will not be allowed under the new rules with even the salt, sugar and transfat content prominently mentioned. Yes, packaged food will soon have to sport labels with detailed list of ingredients in larger fonts, with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) deciding to make changes in the rules pertaining to labeling of products. The final draft notification would soon be made public, said Dr B Sesikeran, chairman, scientific panel on labelling and claims at FSSAI.

Manufacturers make a lot of claims on the benefits of their products. They will be allowed to publish the claims on the labeling only after results of authentic scientific research are shown to the FSSAI. Only if the results are found to be acceptable will the claim be allowed to be printed, as per guidelines of the FSSAI.

Though guidelines are already present to define labeling processes, the change was made necessary due to newer ingredients being added to products and the international regulations. Though the FSSAI held interactions with the industry on the proposed changes, it is of the view that the guidelines should be more 'consumer friendly'. The final draft is expected to come out in a month or so.

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