FSSAI has released the Alcoholic Beverage Standards’ amendment regulations stating the tolerance limit (alcohol by volume-abv) of ethyl alcohol content, defining the low alcohol beverages, wines, wine based beverages and Indian Brandy.
Named as the Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages) First Amendment Regulations, 2020 and Food Business Operators-FBOs were asked to abide by all the norms of these regulations by 1st July, 2021.
As per the regulation, Indian brandy shall be prepared either from neutral spirit or rectified spirit or a blend of both. The name ‘Indian Brandy’ on the label shall be followed by a statement within brackets as ‘made from molasses spirit/grain spirit/neutral spirit’ with a legible font size. The same font size should be used for the words ‘Indian’ as well as ‘Brandy’.
The regulations reads that “the tolerance limit for ethyl alcohol content for up to 20% abv shall be ± 0.3% (-0.5% for up to 90 ml per bottle) and for over 20% abv it shall be ±1.0% (-1.5% for up to 90 ml per bottle) of the mentioned strength. For wines, the tolerance limit shall be ±0.5.”
In addition, the amendment regulations states- “Alcoholic beverages containing over 0.5% abv but not exceeding 8.0% abv may be termed as a low alcoholic beverage.” Earlier, alcoholic beverages containing not over 8.0% abv were categorized as low alcoholic beverages.
The regulations also specify various types of wines such as Dry Wine, which is a wine that possesses up to 0.9% sugar, Sparkling wine comprising Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, Semi Dry and Sweet depending on sugar content and Fortified Wine, which is a wine with high alcohol content accomplished by the addition of alcohol (brandy or wine spirits or neutral spirit of agricultural origin) given a minimum 7 .0% comes from fermentation of grapes, grape must and fruits and utilized as aperitif or dessert wine.
The regulations of FSSAI also talks about the wine based beverages, as a beverage extracted from a minimum of 50 by volume of wine, which could have passed through the treatment processes like coloring, sweetening, addition of aromatizing substances or preparations, addition of food-related products, including water, for which the actual alcoholic strength by volume is equals or exceeds 3.5 vol. and remains less than 14.5 vol., and for which the alcoholic component derived solely from the wine or special wine used, except for doses used only to dilute aromatic substances, or colourants, or any other permitted substance.
The regulations by FSSAI also specify the need for Labelling of Wine and asked the FBOs to typify the origin (country or state) of wine and inform about the range of sugar, the generic name of variety of grape or fruit used in descending order of quantity or raw material utilized, geographic origin, and vintage year, if such claims are made, the name of residues of preservatives or additives present as such, or in their modified forms, in the final product, and declare the name of the place, or region, sub-region or appellation, if 75% the grapes come from that place.
For size of warning words on label, the regulation states that ‘size of statutory warning shall not be below 1.5 mm for pack size of up to 200ml and for pack size above 200 ml, size of the warning shall at least be 3 mm’.