Home » FSS ACT » FSSAI calls for comments on milk and milk product standards and labelling

FSSAI calls for comments on milk and milk product standards and labelling

Monday, 16 November, 2015, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) on Nov 2, 2015, issued a notice calling for suggestions, views, comments from WTO-TBT Committee Members on the proposed standards for milk and milk products. Members have to respond within a period of 60 days.

In the notice, FSSAI has defined the general standards of milk and milk products. According to the draft, these general standards provide over-arching definitions for milk and milk products and guidance on the use of ‘dairy terms’ in relation to foods to be offered to the consumer or for further processing.

According to sources in the apex regulatory authority, this was part of FSSAI’s earlier notice regarding facilitating consumers by providing testing infrastructure at shops. Hence, consumers will now be able to judge the product after the draft comes into force.

The draft talks about general standards that include definitions of milk and milk products, composite milk product, reconstituted milk or milk product, recombined milk or milk product, dairy terms, heat treatments, pasteurisation, pasteurised and similar terms, boiling, boiled and similar terms, sterilisation, sterilised and similar terms,  and Ultra High Temperature (UHT) Sterilisation, Ultra High Temperature sterilised or similar terms.

The draft also talks about the general principals and usage of dairy terms.

According to the draft, “Species identified milk” means that milk fat and SNF content of milk from buffalo, cow,  goat, sheep and camel shall conform to the respective composition given in sub-regulation 2 of the draft and product may be subjected to pasteurisation, boiling, sterilisation or UHT sterilisation.

“Mixed Milk” means any combination of cow milk, buffalo milk, sheep milk, goat milk, or milk of any other milch animal. The product may be subjected to pasteurisation, boiling, sterilisation or UHT sterilisation.

The “Full Cream Milk, Standardised Milk, Toned Milk, Double Toned Milk, or Skimmed Milk” mean the product prepared from cow milk, buffalo milk, goat milk, sheep milk, reconstituted milk, recombined milk, or any combination of these, with or without dried or concentrated milks or milk fat that has been standardised to the respective fat and solids-not-fat percentage given in sub-regulation 2. It shall remain homogeneous and no deposition of solids shall take place on standing. The product shall be subjected to pasteurisation, sterilisation, Ultra High Temperature sterilisation or boiling, says the draft.

The draft also talks about the labelling of milk and milk products.

According to the draft, the details shall be declared on the label of pre-packaged milk or otherwise, if the milk is not pre-packaged, in respect of the milk offered for sale to the consumer, such declaration given on the container from which milk will be offered for sale to the consumer (i) the class of milk as per sub- regulation 2, (ii) the heat treatment, as per the general standards for milk and milk products to which product has been subjected to.

If the milk from any milch animal, mixed milk or skimmed milk is offered for sale to the consumer without any heat treatment, the name of the milk shall be declared on the label of prepackaged milk or otherwise if the milk is not prepackaged, the name of the milk shall be declared and mentioned on the container from which milk shall be offered for sale to the consumer, it shall be preceded with the term ‘Raw.’

All other provisions laid down under Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling), Regulations, 2011, shall apply to the pre-packaged milk provided that the list of ingredients may not be declared in descending order of usage since the proportion of ingredients used may require change on a daily basis provided further that where ‘reconstituted’ or ‘recombined’ milk is declared in the list of ingredients, their components need not be declared separately. However the ingredients ratio shall be mentioned, says the draft.

In case of flavoured milk, the name of the product shall be ‘Flavoured Milk.’ The details shall be always declared, on the label of prepackaged product or otherwise if the product is not prepackaged, in respect of the product offered for sale that includes, the class of milk as per general standards for milk and milk products from which it is prepared and the heat treatment, as per the general standards for milk and milk products, to which product has been subjected to.

For evaporated and concentrated milk, according to the definitions in sub-regulation 1.0 and composition in sub regulation 2.3 of the draft, the name of the food shall be: A. Evaporated milk, or B. Evaporated partly skimmed milk, or C. Evaporated skimmed milk, or D. Evaporated high fat milk, and as appropriate: Provided that the “Evaporated partly skimmed milk” may be designated “Evaporated semi-skimmed milk” provided the content of milk fat is between 4.0 – 4.5 % (m/m) and minimum milk solids is 24% (m/m).

The draft also talks about definitions, additives, labelling norms and essential compositions and so on of sweetened and condensed milk, standards for khoya, malai, milk fat products like ghee, butter and so on and fermented milk.

The draft further talks about essential quality factors of the raw material.

According to the draft, milk means the normal mammary secretion derived from complete milking of healthy milch animal, without either addition thereto or extraction there from, unless otherwise provided and it shall be free from colostrum.

Milk product means a product obtained by any processing of milk, which may contain food additives and other ingredients functionally necessary for the milk product as permitted in these regulations. Examples of milk products include cream,  malai, curd, skimmed milk curd, dahi, yoghurt, chhanna, skimmed-milk chhanna, paneer, cheese, processed cheese, ice cream, milk ices, milk lollies, kulfi, condensed milk – sweetened and unsweetened, condensed skimmed milk – sweetened and unsweetened, milk powder, skimmed milk powder, partly skimmed milk powder, khoa or khoya, infant milk food, table butter and white butter, ghee, butter oil, or milk derivatives such as whey, casein, and lactose. Any other product as may be declared in these regulations.

According to the draft, the composite milk product means a product of which the milk, milk products or milk constituents are an essential part in terms of quantity in the final product, as consumed provided that the constituents not derived from milk are not intended to take the place in part or in whole of any milk constituent. Some examples of composite milk products are shrikhand, ice cream containing fruits, and flavoured fermented milks.

Meanwhile, in the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sale) Regulations, 2011, in relation to 2.1.1 (1) of 2.1 “Sale of certain admixtures prohibited” following contents shall be substituted namely: “cream which has not been prepared exclusively from milk or which contains less than 20 per cent milk fat,” says the draft.

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