Food Safety regulator in India, FSSAI, has finalised 12,000 standards for food additives and ingredients in line with global safety standards Codex, in order to do away with lengthy process of product approval. The move is expected to benefit food companies as they would not require to seek product approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) if they comply with these standards.
At present, there are 375 FSSAI safety standards for food items but none for food additives and ingredients.
"FSSAI has approved 12,000 standards for food additives and ingredients. The Law Ministry is vetting the standards and a notification will be issued soon," a senior Health Ministry official said.
The new FSSAI standards are in harmony with the global food standards of Codex Alimentarius Commission, established by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation, the official said.
FSSAI, under the aegis of Health Ministry, has fixed maximum limit for use of food additives in various food groups to ensure that the intake of additives does not exceed the acceptable daily intake. Similarly, it has set norms for use of ingredients in preparation of processed food items.
After the Maggi controversy, the FSSAI has stepped up measures to strengthen the quality standards for food products. It is reviewing the existing standards set for caffeine content, metal and toxic contaminants and other residues in the food products. The regulator is also in the process of setting standards for imported food items to ensure safe products are sold in the domestic market.