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FSSAI Releases regulations for dairy products, and analogues

FSSAI has, quite recently, issued a draft, with the FSSAI regulations for dairy products and analouges. There would be a separate logo for these products, including composite milk products as well. All milk and dairy-related products would bear this logo. Specialized regulations regarding the non-dairy analogues have also been included in the same draft.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Government of India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The FSSAI was established under the 2006 Food Safety and Standards Act, which is a consolidating food safety and regulation law in India. They have, quite recently, issued a draft, with the FSSAI regulations for dairy products and analouges.

Specific Logo for Dairy Products

There would be a separate logo for these products, including composite milk products as well. All milk and dairy-related products would bear this logo.

These regulations (Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2020) also define “Dairy Analogues”. They defined these as products, that imitate or are a culinary replacement for dairy products (may include plant-based milk as well). The regulations state their nomenclature, as well as quality pre-requisites, such as protein, milk fat, solid content, etc.

The different stakeholders sought objections and responses for the draft up until September 30, 2020.

Regulation for Dairy Analogues

As per the current draft of the regulation, analogue (in the context of dairy) means “an imitation product that is designed or structured to mimic, or offered as an alternative/replacement to, a milk or milk product or composite milk product as defined in these regulations by partial or full substitution of selected milk components with other components from non-dairy sources, or prepared by using non-dairy ingredient(s) exclusively or in combination with dairy ingredients”.

More and more people are searching for dairy alternatives. There are many options particularly in beverages, based on soy, rice, nuts, seeds etc. These products have expanded their customer base. People are starting to realize digestive issues, allergies, towards lactose, now. Others may just have a general inclination towards plant-based milk and such products.

However, for such products, the term “dairy”, or any such similar terms (phonetic or synonymic), shall not be used, in the nomenclature. Also, the name of the milk-based component, used in the product, has to be mentioned duly in the list of ingredients (package label), wherever applicable. The said regulation mentions this as well.

And a declaration stating: “This is not a Dairy Product”, shall be made on the label of such products (analogue products). This is especially important, as many people are lactose intolerant or mildly allergic to it.

Determination of Adulteration in Ghee

FSSAI regulations for dairy products and analogues also include the method for the determination of adulteration of vegetable oil in ghee. Vegetable oil is added to ghee, as the chemical characteristics of adulterated ghee imitate as that of pure ghee. Also, vegetable oil is much cheaper than pure ghee. The tests would use the technique RP-HPLC (Reversed Phase-High Performance Liquid Chromatography) method. The scientific committee and panel (methods of sampling and analysis) and the food authority, collectively approved this method. Earlier a few tests were used, leading to some inconsistencies. But now, a standard method has been indicated.

The order added that the method was applicable to four vegetable oils. These are soybean oil, groundnut oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil.

Read more: FSSAI awarded the ‘Food Vision System’ Prize


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