Home » FSS ACT » FSSAI proposes standards related to gluten free and low gluten foods and their labelling requirements

FSSAI proposes standards related to gluten free and low gluten foods and their labelling requirements

FSSAI proposes standards related to gluten free and low gluten foods and their labelling requirements

FSSAI proposes standards related to gluten free and low gluten foods and their labelling requirements

Through a notification dated 3 May 2016 the FSSAI has made further regulations to amend the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 relating to standards for gluten food and low gluten food. These regulations will be called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Second Amendment Regulations, 2016 after their publication in the Official Gazette. Correspondingly there will also be changes to the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 in packaging labels for gluten free and low gluten foods. FSSAI has invited comments and suggestions within a period of 60 days from the date of the notification.

In the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 the FSSAI proposes to add a new regulation called Gluten Free Food. Gluten free food has been defined as food that consists of or is made of one or more ingredients containing rice, millets, ragi, pulses or legumes.

  • The FSSAI has pointed out that any food, which by its nature, is suitable for use as part of a gluten free diet cannot be named ‘special dietary’, “special dietetic” or any other equivalent term. Such food can carry a statement on the label which says that ‘this food is by its nature gluten-free’.
  • The label declaration will be as per provision of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
  • A product can be labelled as gluten free only after the product has been analysed and found to be below 20 mg/kg as per the method declared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development or the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists. The product must comply with the essential composition provisions for Gluten Free food and any such statement must not mislead the consumer.

Another regulation which is proposed to be added is ‘Food specially processed to reduce gluten content to a level 20 -100mg/kg.’ This food has been defined as food that consists of or are made of one or more ingredients which may contain rice, millets, ragi, oats, rye, barley, maize, wheat, pulses and legumes containing gluten content in the range of 20 -100 mg/kg.It shall bear the label declaration referred to in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.

The FSSAI has also made regulations further to amend the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 which will be called the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) First Amendment Regulations, 2016. They will be enforced on their publication in the Official Gazette. In the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 new sub clauses (numbers 50-52 in sub-regulation 2.4.5) will be added. For foods that are termed Gluten Free Foods the labelling requirements is to print the words “Gluten Free” in the immediate proximity of the name of all such products.

The term “Low Gluten” shall be printed in the immediate proximity of the name of the product in the case of products termed Foods specially processed to reduce gluten content to a level 20 -100mg/kg. This label shall also carry a ‘warning’ that ‘the food labelled as Low Gluten may pose a risk for those with celiac disease.

About Gluten free diet

A gluten-free diet is one that that does not contain the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. A gluten-free diet is required to treat celiac disease as it helps to control signs and symptoms and prevent complications from celiac disease.

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