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FSSAI issues directive on use on minerals, vitamins in functional foods
Friday, 01 March, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
FSSAI has issued a directive regarding use of minerals and vitamins in functional foods and foods for special dietary use, nutraceuticals and health supplements, etc., wherein it has asked the FBOs (food business operators) to use nutrients in limits as prescribed by the country’s apex food regulator.

The limits has been put out by FSSAI based on a study conducted by ICMR (the Indian Council of Medical Research) and Codex, which prescribed the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).

FSSAI said that it has received several representations of the stakeholders seeking clarification on the RDA values after which FSSAI’s scientific committee has looked upon it and a collated document was made for the reference of FBOs.

Experts said, “This notice says that, the use of vitamins and minerals in the amount recommended should not be exceeding the RDA for Indians, in functional foods for special dietary use, etc.”

Ushakiran Sisodia, chief dietitian, Nanavati Superspecialty Hospital, said, “The importance that it holds for the nutraceutical and health food industry is that they should refer to these standards before developing any nutritional supplements or any foods products.”

“In case age-wise RDAs are available, the RDA values for men and women may be considered as a standard reference, or as a single value will be applicable across all age groups,” she added.

Sisodia said that Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Foods for Special Dietary Use, Foods for Special Medical Purposes, Functional Foods and Novel Foods) Regulations, 2016 shall not be applicable to the infants upto the age of 24 months, hence the RDA mentioned in this document for the age group of 0-24 months will not be applicable for the laid regulations.

In case some standards are not being specified by ICMR, the standards laid down by the international food standards body, namely Codex, shall be applied.

“The nutraceutical and health food industry should strictly follow these regulations, and if these guidelines are not followed, it can have adverse effect on human health,” Sisodia said.
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