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INGREDIENTS AND FLAVOURS

FSSAI issues notification on vertical stds pertaining to new additives
Monday, 11 December, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a notification on vertical standards defining several new clauses mentioning the form, molecular weight and empirical formula of new additives.

These regulations, called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Seventeenth Amendment Regulations, 2017, have been added to the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. They will come into force from July 2018.

Vertical standards are categorised as acidity regulators, antioxidants, flavour enhancers, etc. A series of additives under different categories have made their way into the regulations.

Additives like potassium nitrate, sorbic acid, potassium nitrite, sodium propionate and sulphur dioxide were described in the notification, along with acidity regulator, including ammonium hydrogen carbonate, trisodium citrate, fumaric acid, tartaric acid etc.

It also included gelling agents, thickeners or stabilisers, such as sodium alginate, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose and agar.

Explaining the role these vertical standards play in food industry, Ashwin Bhadri, chief executive officer, Equinox Labs, and food safety expert, said that these vertical standards will further give a wide array of additives that can be incorporated into a certain form and amount.

“Additives play a far significant role than being a mere ingredient. They also help maintain the organoleptic quality of the product as well as preserve the shelf life of the product. This helps ensure that product and its quality sustain longer in the market and the brand equity is enhanced,” he added.

On the impact of this notification on the food industry, Bhadri said, “Post this notification, a plethora of choices is now available to the food business operators (FBOs).”

“There can be cases of allergies or harmful effects that can linger to a certain group of people if used incessantly,” he added.

“This range of choice also gives way to new and different innovations in taste, texture, and presentation of the product, which are of high importance to a business,” Bhadri said

He added that the importance could not be granted to only a set amount/category of additives.

“All of these play different roles in different kinds of food items, and so does their process, which can be improvised for the desired end result,” Bhadri said.

“And standardising and including the permissible ingredients only ensures increased compliance, so the FBO does not have to resort to non-compliant ingredients or methods,” he added.
 
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