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FSSAI draft notification proposes spring water stds’ inclusion in FSSR
Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
In a draft notification issued recently by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), it has been proposed that the standards for spring water be included in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, categorised as mineral water. The standards have been covered in the clause titled Description and Types of Mineral Water.

The draft notification defined spring water as a 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,” it added.

According to the draft notification, “Spring water should conform to all the standards for mineral water, except the total dissolved solids (TDS) content, which shall not be more than 750mg/litre.”

Stating that it would be too premature to comment of the permissible TDS limit, Ashwin Bhadri, chief executive officer, Equinox Labs said, “The permissible limit of TDS in drinking water is 500 parts per million (ppm) as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), whose certification validates the source and quality of water.”

“However, here lies the cliche - in case there is no other source of water available, the highest permissible limit can be 2,000 ppm. Apart from this, the BIS document such side effects as the decrease in the palatability, which may cause gastrointestinal irritation,” he added.

“Thus, spring water can be an excellent replacement in case there is no other source of water, which is often the case in the interiors of the country,” Bhadri stated.

He added, “There is a provision for packaged natural mineral water, which was mandated on March 29, 2001, under the erstwhile Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA), 1954. BIS certification is of extreme importance in case of using water.”

Spring water, being a part of natural mineral water, is obtained when underground water naturally flows to the surface at an identified location.

“There can be confusion in the water packaging industries and food businesses as to the water that can be included in the preparation and packaging. This will clear the picture for them, as spring water is a major natural source which is fit for human consumption,” Bhadri said.

He added, “Any segregation and clear definition with respect to the types of products, permissible limits, and other relevant details will only add to the clarity of the food business operators (FBOs) and water suppliers. This draft notification will assist consumers and business operators gain momentum without any hurdles.”
 
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