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POLICY & REGULATIONS

FSSAI mandates mentioning oils in blends on labels to curb misbranding
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
Keeping in view the danger of false claims and misbranding of blended vegetable oil, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has directed food businesses trading in blended edible oil to mention details of edible oils used for blend in the labelling on the packaging of the product, in a font size of ‘not less than 5mm.’ This directive has been operationalised with immediate effect.

Sunil Bakshi, advisor, regulation/Codex, FSSAI, said, “The draft regulations (FSS Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Regulations 2018) is in the making and in process of being notified. The final regulations are likely to take some more time before being notified and enforced. Meanwhile, keeping in mind the consumer interest and to ensure fair practices in trade of blended edible oils, it has been decided to operationalise these regulations with immediate effect.”

According to sources, the reports about making false claims about or misbranding of such blended oils were rampant wherein the pack though selling as a particular oil, actually had share of less than 20% of that oil. It is not permissible under the law to have a blend of edible vegetable oil with less than 20% of share of one of the oil. And the share of oil having larger percentage should be mentioned first in the label.

The direction says that the FSS Packaging and Labelling Amendment Regulations 2018 now requires the FBOs to include ‘name and nature of edible vegetable oil along with % by weight’ of all the oils used in blend. Besides the regulations also require the FBOs to mention this info in the label with font size of not less than ‘5mm.’

"Mentioning of ‘name and nature of edible vegetable oil along with % by weight’ regulation on the product label already exists. However, there are manufacturers who do not follow the rules and they falsely claim about their product and its quality. For instance, some manufacturers sell soyabean oil. In that, 10 to 12% of soyabean oil is used and remaining portion is of some other blended oil. It can’t be claimed as soyabean oil,” said an industry source not willing to be named.

He added that the size of the font is the new thing. Labelling with regards to font size is the change FSSAI has incorporated and now it shall be more visible in the packaging of the product.

Meanwhile, the regulation also says that every package containing an admixture of edible oils, shall carry the label immediately below its brand name. Further the FBOs also have to mention a declaration-‘Not to be Sold Loose’- in bold capital letters along with name of the product.
 
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