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FSSAI issues draft notification about new additive list, seeks comments
Monday, 28 August, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has released a new list of additives through a draft notification and has sought the stakeholders’ comments on the same. These additives are both natural and synthetic, and are used largely as smoothening agents, preservatives, colours and taste enhancers.

The notification was issued to include provisions for additional additives in various food categories under the heading IV. Use of food additives in food products  in Appendix A of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations.

It included additives like saccharins, carotenoids, quillaia extracts, propylene glycol alginate, chlorophylls, copper complexes and ascorbyl esters, and prescribed the permissible limits for them.

Commenting on the new draft notification, Ashwin Bhadri, chief executive officer, Equinox Labs, said, “The mentioned additives are both natural and synthetic in nature. These have been brought into the picture considering their importance to respective food products.”

“All the said additives are now added to the list of permissible products that can be added to the product for various reasons like smoothening the texture of the product, preservation, colouring and enhancing the taste of the product,” he added.

Bhadri said, “Each additive or group of additives are required in different food products to perform different functions.”

“Cellulose gum is needed in jellies and custards; chlorophylls may be needed for colouring and as a source of nutrition, and alginate can be used to even the surface of the cakes,” he explained.

“We find various such combinations in our daily lives. Different additives have different roles to play in the food industry,” Bhadri added.

Elaborating on good manufacturing practices (GMP), he said, “In this context, GMP is used to refer to the practices that additives added to a product should follow.”

“With no stipulated limit set, its permissible range is set by good manufacturing practices, which should be followed,” Bhadri added.

“In GMP, all the process-related details, norms and ingredients are mentioned as per the business requirements, thereby regulating the amount that goes in the product,” he said.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States conducts tests to estimate the degree of health risks of food additives. Similarly, toxicological tests are a must while we use these in our food,” Bhadri added.

“One change that can be done here is to quantify or mention the permissible range for the additives, instead of mentioning GMP,” he said.

“Food business operators (FBOs) and consumers will not realise the amount that should be added or the harmful effects, if any, of a particular additive,” Bhadri added.

“The pattern of food presentation, storage duration, texture, etc. make a difference to the number of additives that go into the product. That is the reason why the permissible range is important,” Bhadri concluded.
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