The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare by the Government of India (GOI).
It sets the standards for food in order to maintain the required quality so that there is no chaos in the minds of consumers, traders, manufacturers and investors.
The Food Labelling bridges the gap between the manufacturer and the consumer which covers both, food safety and information in the favour of consumer's interest.
To ensure the labelling regulations to be further more effective, FSSAI is on the run to make revisions in the previously existing Food Safety and Standards (packaging and Labelling) Regulations,2011 with the objective of having three different regulations dealing separately with Packaging, Labelling & Display and Advertisements and Claims.
The FSSAI has laid down certain regulations pertaining to the labelling, display and packaging of packed food products and a draft regulation for the same was released in 2019.
The ultimate aim of the FSSAI is to maintain food standards and make the manufacturers comply with the said rules and regulations.
The FSSAI's new Labelling and Display regulations is ready for Draft notification and it will supersede the food safety and standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
The main focus behind this regulation is to enable citizens to know more about the composition of food which will allow them to make informed choices while purchasing food products.
One of the major rules in the Regulations state that the packaged food company should declare the nutritional information such as calories(energy), Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, Added Sugar, and Sodium as per serve on the front pack.
The Food Labels will also declare, per serve percentage contribution to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) on the front pack
The Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and display) Regulations, 2019, helps a consumer to understand the contents of a product and make informed choices. (This is a draft regulation and still under review.) Therefore, in order to make the labelling requirements more effective, certain changes are being made.
Such changes include printing of best before date and expiry date on the food packaging and offer discounts if the food is being sold after the best before date. "Best before" and "expiry/ Use by date" are two labels of a product, usually used to indicate the shelf life of a product