FSSAI Food Standard and Food Additives

FSSAI Food Standard and Food Additives
01 February 2022

FSSAI Food Standard and Food Additives

What are Food Additives?


Added foods to maintain or enhance safety, youth, taste, texture, or appearance of food are known as dietary supplements. Some food additives have been used for preservation for centuries - such as salt (in meat such as bacon or dried fish), sugar, or sulfur dioxide.


Several different dietary supplements have been developed over time to meet the needs of food production, as making food on a larger scale is very different from making it on a smaller scale at home. Additives are needed to ensure that processed foods remain safe and in good condition throughout your journey from factories or industrial kitchens, during transportation to warehouses and stores, and ultimately to consumers.
A food additive is defined in the Food Safety and Standards Act of India 2006 as below:
“food additive” means any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself or used as a typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the international addition of which to food for technological (including organoleptic) purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result (directly or indirectly) in it or its by-products becoming a component of or otherwise affecting the characteristics of such food but does not include “contaminants” or substances added to food for maintaining or improving nutritional qualities.
The use of supplements is only appropriate when their use is technically necessary, does not mislead consumers, and provides a well-defined technical function, such as maintaining nutritional quality or improving food stability.
Steps Taken by FSAAI for regulating rules regarding Food Additives
The FSSAI Food Safety Regulatory Authority has completed 12,000 food and ingredient standards in accordance with the Codex safety standards, in order to complete the lengthy product authorization process.
The move is expected to benefit food companies as they will not need to obtain product approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) if they comply with these standards.
Currently, there are 375 FSSAI food safety standards but they are not included in food supplements and ingredients.
“FSSAI has approved 12,000 standard dietary supplements. The Legal Department is reviewing standards and a notice will be issued soon, a health official told PTI.
The new FSSAI standards are in line with international food standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, established by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, the official said.
FSSAI, under the egis of the Department of Health, has placed significant restrictions on the use of dietary supplements in various food groups to ensure that the intake of supplements does not exceed the daily acceptable amount. Similarly, it has established principles for the use of ingredients in the preparation of processed foods.
Following Maggi's dispute, FSSAI has stepped up its efforts to strengthen the quality of food products. It reviews existing standards for caffeine content, iron and toxic pollutants and other residues in food products.
The regulator is also in the process of setting imported food standards to ensure that safe products are sold in the domestic market.