In line with global safety standards for food companies, the government has finalised as many as 12,000 standards for food additives and ingredients, union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said.
The move will help food companies as they will not be required to seek product approval from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for minor changes and alterations if they comply with these declared standards.
‘The Indian government has finalised as many as 12,000 standards for food additives and ingredients, and they will not be required to seek product approval from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).’
"Earlier, only standards pertaining to 375 ingredients were harmonised with international standards; now about 8,000 ingredient standards have been harmonised. Soon this number will be about 12,000 ingredients," Badal said.
The minister was answering questions on the challenges faced by the food processing industry vis-a-vis product approvals by the FSSAI, which functions under the Health Ministry. "Earlier, the companies faced immense problems. If some minor ingredients used to be sprinkled on cakes or to make sweet buttermilk salty, the approval process took months. Now things will be much easier," she said.
The new FSSAI standards are in harmony with the global food standards of Codex Alimentarius Commission, established by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.
On recent health scares vis-a-vis instant noodles and bread, Food Processing Ministry's Joint Secretary Anuradha Prasad said the ministry is working closely with the FSSAI and has no major issues with the body as such. She said she attends FSSAI meetings as ministry representative. To another question, she said a notification for removing potassium bromate from the list of permissible additives will be issued soon.