The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have issued the regulations regarding the processing aids in the official gazette of India. Known as Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Ninth Amendment Regulations, 2020, the regulations will come into effect from 1st July, 2021.

The regulation suggests the permissible daily intake, maximum allowed level, residual level, enzyme commission number specification for identity and salubrity of the processing aids. The regulations also put forward norms for the labelling of products in which processing aid is involved particularly the vegetarian and non-vegetarian declaration is must, regardless of the residue level.

As per the FSSAI, the processing aids listed in the regulations are identified as appropriate for being utilized in foods in compliance with the provisions of these regulations and have been allocated an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) or determined (wherever applicable), on the basis of other criteria, to be non-hazardous and the use of processing aids in accordance with these regulations has to be technologically explained and proven.

The regulations also delineate the product category, condition in which the processing aid is used. The regulations advise that unless expressly allowed, processing aids shall not be used in food processing.

The regulation represents processing aid as any substance or material, not including apparatus or utensils, and not ingested as a food ingredient by itself, knowingly used in the processing of raw materials, foods or its ingredients, to accomplish a certain technological purpose during treatment or processing and which may lead to the non-intentional but indispensable presence of residues or derivatives in the final product.

There are 12 processing aids categories highlighted under the regulations including, Antifoaming Agents, Catalyst, Clarifying Agents and Filtration Agents, Contact Freezing and Cooling Agents, Desiccating Agent, Flocculating Agents, Lubricants, Microbial Control Agents, Microbial Nutrients and Microbial Nutrient Adjuncts, Release and Antistick Agents, Solvent for Extraction and Processing, Bleaching, Washing, Peeling and Denuding Agents, Enzymes and Generally Permitted Processing Aids.

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