A draft has been issued by the FSSAI for amendment into the Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specified Food and Food Ingredients) Regulations, 2017, to add more specifications for the approval process of non specified food particularly, the timeline.
The FSSAI has proposed that applicants for such foods have 45 days to correct any deficiencies in the information provided in support of the product with the applications. In addition, if the food authority requests supporting documents, data or clarification regarding the product, the FBO must submit it within 30 days of the request being issued. The people who are in the business of food can appeal to the Chairperson, Food Authority, against any decision of rejection of his application within 30 days of the receipt of the letter. Appeals submitted after 30 days will not be considered and the application will be considered closed. Previously, there was no provision for a specific time period as part of the approval process for unspecified food products.
Also, to examine the application submitted by food business operators for such food products there shall be an expert committee or panel.
According to FSSAI, the proposed amendment also specifies requirements for approval of non-specified food and food ingredients in the ‘application form’ of such products seeking elaborate info on whether the application was for novel food product, ingredient or processing using novel technology, listed or unlisted additive, new processing aid or enzyme, whether the food was new botanical or processed botanical, new fruit or fruit based, probiotic or prebiotic, or any other kind.
Even pre-mix of ingredients or additives requires approval under non-specified food category.
The amendment further seeks functional use explanation in the application form from the FBO like claims, and end use declaration along with safety studies done by the applicants.