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Working group to look into demand to rename frozen dessert as ice cream
Tuesday, 03 December, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The apex food regulator has formed a working group to look upon the proposal to review the nomenclature given to ‘frozen dessert.’

According to sources, the working group was formed after questions were raised on the scientific panel for milk and milk products looking into the matter having representation from the dairy industry only.  

The matter, sources say was placed before the Chairperson, FSSAI, who suggested the formation of an ‘unbiased’ working group on the subject.

The matter first came to a boil when a controversial ad campaign was launched against ‘frozen desserts’ and two major firms challenged it in the court.

The frozen dessert Industry wants the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to change the nomenclature to ice cream in place of frozen dessert.

Under FSS Regulations, frozen desserts are products containing vegetable fats while ice creams are those products having dairy fats in it. However, experts say that both products - ice cream and frozen dessert have similar manufacturing process and only difference is use of milk fat in one and vegetable fat in other. Both contain milk / milk solids, proteins, vitamins and minerals and are dairy products and both comply to FSSAI safety standards. In fact, nutritionally, frozen dessert has less saturated fats and zero trans fats whereas ice creams have saturated fats and some trans fats.

In this regard, the Indian Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (IICMA) has also given a representation to the FSSAI wherein it has asked the apex food regulator to align its regulations with the global norms.

“Globally ice cream made with vegetable fats is called ice cream instead of frozen dessert and ice cream with dairy fat is called dairy ice cream,” says IICMA in its representation to FSSAI.

According to IICMA, frozen dessert (FD) is any kind of dessert, which is kept or served in frozen condition. Therefore, frozen being a state of the product and dessert being a confectionery course, which concludes a main meal. The term dessert applies to many confections like cakes, custards, lollies, kulfis and ice creams.

Further IICMA says that under FSSR there are several products like biscuits, breads, cakes, rusks, chocolates, toffees and sugar boiled confectionery whose classification is not affected by the source of fat used in manufacturing. Even a sensitive product like infant formula standard has an option of using vegetable oil instead of milk fat and still is known as infant formula.

IICMA had requested FSSAI to align FSSR to international norms wherein frozen dessert is umbrella term under which ice cream with dairy fat, ice cream with veg oil, frozen yoghurt and other desserts in frozen form should be classified. (Codex, an FAO WHO body also states that: A food category descriptor cannot be a legal product name and cannot be used for labelling purpose). Worldwide, any ice cream which contains dairy fat is termed ‘dairy ice cream’ and those that contain vegetable oil is termed ice cream.

“In representations by IICMA to FSSAI regarding nomenclature – FSSAI and scientific panels agree to the fact that nomenclature is wrong. In fact, FSSAI has been very supportive of our stand on nomenclature but those who have vested interests are spreading wrong information against frozen desserts and these vested interests do not want nomenclature to align to international norms,” says a spokesperson for IICMA.
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