In a big move, the apex food regulator FSSAI, has published draft regulations for Ayurveda food products and asked for responses from the stakeholders by the 1st week of September. These regulations also include a list of 68 specific authoritative books, which food businesses can refer while preparing food products.

Known as Food Safety and Standards (Ayurveda Aahar) Regulations, 2021, these regulations define Ayurveda Aahar, as a food prepared in compliance with the recipes or ingredients and/or processes as per methods explained in the trustworthy books of Ayurveda listed under ‘Schedule A’ of these regulations.

“It (Ayurveda Aahar) also includes products which have other botanical ingredients in accordance with the concept of Ayurvedic Aahar but does not include Ayurvedic drugs or proprietary Ayurvedic medicines and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances, herbs listed under Schedule E of Drug and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder, metals based Ayurvedic drugs or medicines, bhasma or pishti and any other ingredients notified by the Authority from time to time,” says the notification.

Nevertheless, a general requirement under these regulations states that ‘No person shall manufacture or sell Ayurveda Aahar intended for administration to infants up to the age of 24 months’.

Moreover, the manufacture of Ayurveda Aahar shall be established by Food Business Operators in line with the Schedule 4 of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, and addition of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to Ayurveda Aahar shall not be allowed. Still, natural vitamins and minerals if present in the Ayurveda Aahar may be declared on the label.

In addition, Food Business Operators shall formulate Ayurveda Aahar in compliance with the categories and requirements defined in Schedule B of these regulations, reads the draft.

On additives, the regulations assert that the products covered under these regulations shall contain only natural food additives as enumerated under Schedule C of these regulations. Apart from these, as per the draft, the labelling, presentation and advertisement shall not claim that the Ayurveda Aahar has the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease or refer to such properties and for non-standardized Ayurvedic food, FBOs need to get a consent from the Authority.

The regulations also specified provisions that the Ministry of AYUSH shall set up an Expert Committee for providing suggestions to the Food Authority on approval of claims and products. Such committee shall also empower to address concerns concerning registration/licensing/certification/laboratory accreditation/testing/quality issues associate with Ayurveda Aahar.

These newly issued regulations also suggest a logo for such products and microbiological standards.

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