FSSAI releases draft notification on Indian Nutrition Rating

The FSSAI has recently issued a draft notification on Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) modelled on the health star-rating system.

Key facts

  • The draft notification issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) makes changes to the Safety and Standards (Labelling & Display) Regulations, 2020.
  • It requires packaged food to display the prescribed format of INR by assigning a rating from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 starts (healthiest).
  • The INR will be calculated based on the contribution of energy, saturated fat, total sugar, sodium and the positive nutrient per 100 gram of solid food or 100 ml of liquid food.
  • The star rating must be displayed close to the name or brand name of the product on the front of the pack.
  • Several food products like milk, milk-based products, egg-based deserts, infant formula, vegetable oil and fat, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, fresh and frozen meat, fish, salads, sandwich spreads and alcoholic beverages are exempted from this rule.
  • Carbonated beverages without any energy or sugar are also exempted from this system.
  • The star rating system is opposed by public health experts as it gives false positive connotation and make it difficult to identify harmful products.
  • Instead, they recommend the inclusion of warning labels like an octagonal “stop” symbol that has proven to minimise sales of unhealthy food and beverage products. This system is used in Chile to reformulate the products and remove large amounts of sugar and salt.

About FSSAI

The FSSAI comes under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This statutory body is responsible for regulating food industry and setting up standards for ensuring the safety of food. It is responsible for providing licence to food businesses, developing safe food practices, testing, capacity building etc.

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