FSSAI has issued draft regulations for ‘Front of the Pack Nutritional Labelling (FOPNL)’ with respect to nutritional ratings and asked stakeholders to comment on the same.
As reported on fnbnews, the FSSAI decided to go ahead with the health star ratings to be given to food products based on their nutritional values and now will be called ‘Indian Nutrition Rating (INR)’. Its logo will be in line with the logo of BEE Star ratings.
The INR system will rate the overall nutritional profile for packaged food by assigning it a rating from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest). More stars indicate that the food product is better positioned to provide for the daily human need of nutrients.
The FSSAI draft calls for declaration of percentage of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes & millets if present in the food product and added dietary fibre as nutrient in the list for the nutritional labelling wherein all processed and packaged food products covered under the extant FSS Regulations are classified into three categories namely Category-I (Solid foods), Category-II (Liquid foods) and Category-III (Exempted from FOPNL).
Called the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling & Display) Amendment Regulations, 2022, they shall come into force on the date of their final publication in the Official Gazette. However, compliance shall be voluntary until a period of 48 months from the date of final notification of these regulations and mandatory thereafter.
Also, the draft defines high fat, sugar, salt (HFSS) food as a processed food product which has high levels of saturated fat or total sugar or sodium. The declared values of these ingredients are such that the product does not satisfy the value of energy (kcal) from total sugar less than 10 per cent of total energy, or from saturated fat 10 per cent of total energy, and sodium less than 1 mg/1 kcal.
An entire chapter 6 is added to the labelling and display regulations defining the INR. This chapter has the formula to calculate the INR based on reference values of four risk increasing factors i.e., energy, total sugars, saturated fat and sodium per 100 g or 100 ml of the product and, the minimum percentage of positive nutrients i.e. fruit & vegetable (FV); nuts, legumes & millets (NLM); fibre and protein for consideration in the calculation for rating of specific solid foods or liquid foods.
The draft lays down that every packaged food except those exempted from nutritional information under these regulations, shall display the prescribed format (INR) on front of pack calculated on the basis of contribution of energy (in kilocalories; kcal), saturated fat (g), total sugar (g) and sodium (mg) and the positive nutrients per 100 g of solid food or 100 ml of liquid food on ‘as sold’ basis, using the formula mentioned in the regulation.