PROPRIETARY FOOD UNDER FSSAI
After witnessing the rising demand for Proprietary foods in India, FSSAI felt to formulate specific framework to manufacture and market proprietary food.
The lead regulator introduced proprietary food regulations that follow similar global best practice approaches to provide peace of mind for all food business operators, while giving them the flexibility to innovate.
Proprietary Food Regulations fall under Regulation 2.12 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food and Food Additives Standards) Regulations, 2016. They came into force after several revisions and became effective on 13 January 2016.
As defined in the Regulation, Proprietary food means an article of food that has not been standardised under these regulations, but does not include novel foods, foods for special dietary uses, foods for special medical purposes, functional foods, nutraceuticals, health supplements and such other food articles which the Central Government may notify in this behalf.
Provided that any deviation in the quality parameters of a standardized food item, as specified in the Regulation the resulting product does not qualify as a proprietary food item.
Therefore, when a food package is labelled as a proprietary food, it can be assumed that the ingredients are not the standard additives or colorants according to the regulations of the FSSAI. The formulation belongs to the company that manufactures this product. It will also contain food additives, colouring and non-standard ingredients that are not harmful for human consumption.
The FSSAI regulations have divided food and beverage products into two main categories:
• Standardized foods
• Non-standardized foods, i.e.(proprietary foods)
Some regulatory guidelines
- The ingredients of these proprietary food products are standardized or approved for use in the preparation of other foods standardized under this regulation, except for those ingredients that the authority may specify from time to time.
Provided that this type of food may also contain vitamins and minerals in amounts that do not exceed an RDA for the respective micronutrient.
- Additives for these foods are added in the amounts indicated for the category or subcategory in Annexure A of this Regulation to which the food belongs.
- This category or subcategory must be clearly indicated on the label along with the generic name, species and composition of the patented food.
- These foods must meet the microbiological requirements set out in Annexure B of this Regulation.
- These proprietary food products must not contain pathogenic microorganisms at levels that would render the food product unsafe.
- These FBOs must also comply with the provisions of all regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, where applicable.
- Additionally, no health claims are made regarding proprietary foods, either on the product label or otherwise.
- Food business operators have full responsibility for the safety of proprietary food for human consumption.
Now let us look at the difference between Standardized and non- standardized food
1. Standardized food products are those which are defined under regulations. A food business operator who has a license can manufacture. But the manufacturer can only sell these food products as long as he complies with the standards for the specific product given in the act and rules where as;
Proprietary Foods are those which are not standardized under regulations and may contain primary ingredients and some generic additives. The main product for these foods is milk or milk products, from carbohydrates, with or without a basis of milk, from meat, fish, or eggs, from vegetables, fruits, or nuts. As well as sometimes from fatty substances also.
2. Example of standardized foods are-fruit jam, fruit drinks, sauces, biscuits, and carbonated water, etc. and of proprietary foods are energy drinks and custard powder which contain starch, dextrose, flavour, and colour.