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Statutory advisory for stearic acid in confectionery omitted from FSSR
Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Abhitash Singh, Mumbai
The statutory advisory for the use of stearic acid as a lubricant in sugar-based/sugar-free confectionery, lozenges and chewing gum/bubblegum, issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), was inadvertently missed in Appendix A, Table 13 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.  

According to an FSSAI official, “As per Order 03/02/2012/QAS/ FSSAI dated July 27, 2012, if there is any variance in standards of sugar-based/sugar-free confectionery, lozenges and chewing gum/ bubblegum between the Food Safety and Standards Regulations and its predecessor, the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Rules, 1954, the PFA rules will apply.

This is one such case. It is also requested that specific enforcement/prosecution may not be launched against the use of stearic acid in the aforesaid products within the prescribed limit till the necessary notification/amendment is issued under the FSS regulations.”

The official added, “The enforcement departments should not take action against the companies involved in the use of stearic acid. The instructions have been already given to the enforcement department.”

H G Koshia, commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat, said, “If FSSAI brings the amendments, they have to be followed by the companies. The companies which use stearic acid in the products should now follow the amendments of 2012, which are included in the Act. Excess use of stearic acid is very dangerous. If chewing gum/bubblegum is taken in adequate quantities is healthy, but in excess it is very dangerous.”
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