Food is integral for human survival. Therefore, food safety is an important social and health priority for any country. In modern times, the food industry holds significant importance with numerous food products available in the market. India, being an agriculturally dependent economy, there are enormous opportunities for creation of large scale processed food manufacturing and food chain facilities.
Food laws in India
In order to monitor the laws relating to food, the Government of India enforced the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”). The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as “FSSAI”) is the authority for regulating food laws in India. FSSAI is responsible for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Fortification of Food Laws
Fortification means deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefit with minimal risk to health. FSSAI on August 2, 2018, brought forward the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018, (hereinafter referred to as “Food Fortification Regulations”) to regulate the provisions regarding fortified food. Some of the important features of Food Fortification Regulations are as follows:
- It prescribes the standards of addition of micronutrients for the purpose of food fortification.
- The manufacturers of the fortified food are required to provide a quality assurance undertaking.
- Packaging and labelling of the fortified food must state the food fortificant added, logo and the tagline “Sampoorna Poshan Swasth Jeevan”. Also, it should be in compliance to the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011.
In order to ensure availability of healthy food, its fortification seems as an appropriate mode. With the harmonization of the laws concerning fortification of food, the Government aims to address micro nutrient deficiencies by providing high quality nutrient enriched food.