Soon, Food Packets Will Have Bigger, Bolder Info On Sugar, Salt, Fat

In a historic move, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved a proposal to make a bolder and bigger display of nutritional information regarding total sugar, salt and saturated fat on packaged food items, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Saturday.

The proposal calls for packaged food items to carry the amount of total sugar, salt and saturated fat “in bold letters and relatively increased font size.”

The Ministry noted that “the information regarding per serve percentage contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) would be given in bold letters for total sugar, total saturated fat and sodium content.”

The decision that will amend the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020 was taken in the 44th meeting of the Food Authority.

Regulation 2 (v) and 5(3) specify requirements to mention serving size and nutritional information on the food product label, respectively.

“The amendment aims to empower consumers to better understand the nutritional value of the product they are consuming and make healthier decisions,” the MoHFW said.

Healthcare and nutritional experts have been calling out the need to curb the intake of packaged food items, rich in sugar, salt and saturated fats — a major reason for the rising incidences of non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The proposal will enable “people to make healthier choices as well as contribute towards efforts to combat NCDs and promote public health and well-being.”

The FSSAI is also expected to share the draft notification for the said amendment in the public domain for inviting suggestions and objections.

Further, FSSAI has been issuing advisories from time to time to prevent false and misleading claims such as ‘Health Drink’, ‘100% fruit juices’, the use of the term wheat flour/ refined wheat flour, the advertisement and marketing of ORS along with prefix or suffix, nutrient function claim for multi-source edible vegetable oils etc.

These advisories and directives are issued to prevent misleading claims by FBOs, MoHFW said.

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