The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a set of amendments to advertising and claims on food products, called the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Second Amendment Regulations of 2022.
The new regulations mandate companies to make clearer disclosures on food packets, holding them responsible for advertisements and claims on labels. FSSAI has issued a set of conditions for claims like fat-free, low sugar, protein right, and source of fibre, among others.
For example, a food can be called low fat only if it contains 3 grams or less of fat per 100gm of solid food and fat-free only if that's less than 0.5gm per 100 grams.
Similarly, it's low sugar only if it's 5 grams or less per 100gm of solids. Similar conditions are given for a whole host of other nutrients like protein, cholesterol, vitamins, dietary fibre, gluten, etc. Claims like no added salt can be made only if the food item and its ingredients have no sodium salts or substitutes.
Similarly for the no additives claim as well. The regulations look to limit the usage of adjectives like natural, fresh, pure, etc as part of trademarks and brand names.
For example, in the case of Dabur Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste, the claim is only a trademark and doesn't represent its true nature, but now that will have to be prominently displayed on the front of the pack in specified font sizes.
If a food item claims to reduce a health risk or disease, companies will have to specify how much of that food has to be consumed per day for that claim to hold true. There are also other disclosures with respect to the volumes of nutrients and micronutrients present in food items.
Now, these regulations came into effect on December 13 and may require food companies to rework their packaging to comply with the new regulations and they have 30 days to do this and seek clarifications.