Food is the vital source of energy for human life. Owing to its necessity, the commercialization of food products entails huge profits to its producers as well as manufacturers. The governance over the food products in India is administered by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (hereinafter referred as “FSSAI”) under the guidelines issued by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”).

Food products standards and food additives

With a view to monitor food products standards and food additives, FSSAI introduced the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulations”). The Regulations include provisions for dairy products, oils, fruits & vegetables, cereals, confectionery, ice products, spices, beverages other than dairy and fruits and vegetables based, etc.

Amended regulations

The Regulations have been amended vide notification dated July 20, 2018[1], which introduces another category to the types of mineral water by addition of sub-clause 2 (vii) to Regulation 2.10.7. As per the said provision, Natural spring water is natural mineral water which is derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth at an identified location. Spring water shall be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. There shall be a natural force causing the water to flow to the surface through an orifice.

The other categories of mineral water are stated below:

  • Natural Mineral Water is water clearly distinguished from ordinary drinking water because it is characterized by its content of certain mineral salts and their relative proportions and the presence of trace elements or of other constituents obtained directly from natural or drilled sources. [Regulation 2.10.7 (2(i))]
  • Naturally Carbonated Natural Mineral Water which is a natural mineral water which, after possible treatment as given hereunder and re-incorporation of gas from the same source and after packaging taking into consideration usual technical tolerance, has the same content of carbon dioxide spontaneously and visibly given off under normal conditions of temperature and pressure. [Regulation 2.10.7 (2(ii))]
  • Non-Carbonated Natural Mineral Water which is a natural mineral water which, by nature and after possible treatment as given hereunder and after packaging taking into consideration usual technical tolerance, does not contain free carbon dioxide in excess of the amount necessary to keep the hydrogen carbonate salts present in the water dissolved. [Regulation 2.10.7 (2(iii))]
  • Decarbonated Natural Mineral Water is a natural mineral water which, after possible treatment as given hereunder and after packaging, has less carbon dioxide content than that at emergence and does not visibly and spontaneously give off carbon dioxide under normal conditions of temperature and pressure. [Regulation 2.10.7 (2(iv))]
  • Natural Mineral Water Fortified with Carbon Dioxide from the Source which, after possible treatment as given hereunder and after packaging, has more carbon dioxide content than that at emergence. [Regulation 2.10.7 (2(v))]
  • Carbonated Natural Mineral Water is carbonated natural mineral water is a natural mineral water which, after possible treatment as given hereunder and after packaging, has been made effervescent by the addition of carbon dioxide from another origin. [Regulation 2.10.7 (2(vi))]