|Thursday, 07 April, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]|
|Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi|
|Proprietary foods complying with the notification for additives, operationalised by the apex food regulator in December last year, will not require any pre-approval from FSSAI. According to FAQs released by the food regulatory body recently, food business operator (FBO) shall ensure that products comply with these provisions and such FBOs will be fully responsible for the safety of the proprietary food.
While the issue pertaining to proprietary foods has been a bone of contention between the apex food regulator and the food industry for many years, the FAQs are being seen by the industry in line with the positive steps being taken by FSSAI in recent times.
Hence, the industry has termed this initiative as “enabling food regulatory environment set to position India as the global hub for food processing industry.”
In this regard, according to a notice put out by FSSAI, it recognises that a specific framework to manufacture and market proprietary food is required in accordance with the global best practices to provide certainty to all stakeholders while providing them with the flexibility to innovate. And an expanded list of food additives has already been issued by the regulator in December last year used in various food categories.
Meanwhile, industry representatives are of the opinion that the recent notification on proprietary foods and notice on Harmonisation of Food Additives with Codex mark the beginning of a new chapter in developing and promoting India as the global hub for the food and food related industry, in wake of the government’s Make in India initiative.
These notifications build on the science-based approach, embracing contemporary global practices the industry has been calling for by moving towards an ingredient-based regime, according to Piruz Khambatta, chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing Industry, and CMD, Rasna Pvt. Ltd.
“The recent orders issued by FSSAI, with regards to Harmonisation with Codex, Nutraceuticals, Food Supplements and Health Supplements, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and FAQs to facilitate operationalisation of the recent regulation on proprietary foods, will go a long way in reducing ambiguity and providing clarity to enforcement divisions while addressing several operational issues that the industry has been facing in last few years,”stated Khambatta.
Sangeeta Pendurkar, MD, Kellogg India Ltd, and member, CII FMCG Committee, said, “This evolution along with various other initiatives that FSSAI has been taking to ensure food safety right from the ground level, will create the foundation for a new paradigm of partnership between the industry and the regulator. This is indeed a welcome move in the best interest of the consumer.”
These developments shall facilitate an enabling regulatory environment for the food industry, in line with the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ initiative of the Government, while ensuring the highest level of protection for consumers and facilitating trade, feel industry experts.
However, some other representatives of the industry feel that some points in FAQs need ratification, e.g., the requirement of proprietary foods containing added vitamins and minerals should not exceed 30 per cent of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Indians.
Meanwhile, the FSSAI has clarified on requirement of licences. It says licence for such proprietary foods shall be granted for the specific food or food category (sub-category) as requested by the FBO in the application form in accordance with the licensing regulation without any requirement of product approval. FBOs can also get the new proprietary food incorporated in the existing licence. Any existing proprietary products already included in the existing licence shall remain valid.