FSSAI Draft Regulation on FOPL

FSSAI Draft Regulation on FOPL

FSSAI Draft Regulation on FOPL

On 13th September 2022, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued draft regulations FSS (Labelling and Display) Amendment Regulations, 2022. The FSSAI has proposed Star Ratings based on nutritional values termed as ‘Indian Nutrition Rating’ (INR) which rates the overall nutritional profile for packaged food by assigning ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest). According to the regulation, more stars indicate that the food product is better positioned to provide for daily human need of nutrients.

Read the regulation here

Important points of the Draft Regulation that are contentious

 Section 1 (2) – Compliance shall be voluntary until a period of 48 months from the date of final notification of these regulations and mandatory thereafter.

Section 2 (1) (ia). FOPNL is a form of supplementary nutrition information that presents simplified nutrition information on the front-of-pack of pre-packaged foods. It can include symbols/graphics, text or a combination thereof that provide information on the overall nutritional value of the food and/or on nutrients included in the FOPNL

Section 2 (2) (a). (a) in sub-regulation (2), after clause (b), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely, – “provided that the percentage of Fruits, Vegetable, Nuts, Legumes & Millets, if present in the food product, shall be declared”.

  1. (2) (b)

The INR system rates the overall nutritional profile for packaged food by assigning it a rating from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest). More stars indicate that the food product is better positioned to provide for daily human need of nutrients.

Schedule III. Table 1

Baseline reference values for Food risk factors and minimum percentage of positive factor per 100 gm or 100 ml on ‘as sold’ basis.

Objections or suggestions were invited by FSSAI after the publication of the draft regulation. Thousands of comments were submitted by experts, consumers, students and activists across India. Some of the comments submitted by experts, consumers and activists are given below:

 Comment submitted by Consumer VOICE | Comments submitted by students | Comment submitted by women | Comment submitted by Nutritionists

 FOPL draft regulation in news

Op-ed of Ashim Sanyal

The front of pack labelling draft regulation is not a healthy affair at all for consumers

TOI Editorial

Be Punchy on Munchy

Food Labels: Look at them!

Food Labels: Look at them!

Food Labels: Look at them!

Meera and her mother were shopping. She requested her favourite soft drink and snacks. Her mother, however, suggested that she eat something wholesome. Meera didn’t waver. She said, “Soda and chips are also nutritious. They are really good and amazing.” Her mother decided to adopt a new strategy.

Let’s examine the chips package and your preferred soft drink together, Meera, she said. Whether they are healthy for you or not may be determined. When Meera studied the food label, she was shocked to learn that the chips had almost little nutritional value and the soft drink was heavy in sugar. “I will stick to nutritious eating from now on,” she promised her mum.

This is a case in many households. The things that you find tasty and addictive are not always good for you. You always want to choose the best for your family and yourself. How can you avoid being duped by advertisements and choose healthy options? Simply select the item, turn it over, and read the food label.

During the festival season, people in India often veer from their normal eating patterns and indulge in binge-eating and unhealthy foods that aren’t usually a part of their regular diet. While treating yourself once in a while is acceptable, one must also learn to intentionally avoid items that are bad for their health and can cause long-term problems.

The Need to Read Food Labels 

We shall all indulge in sweets and gift-exchanging as the festive season continues and Diwali draws closer. But we also need to be aware of our health. We double-check the packaging and expiration date on every packaged food item we buy. But we also need to look at the expiration dates of sweets. Traditionally produced milk-based sweets like gulab jamun, rasgulla, and rasmalai, among others, are frequently created using khoya, chhena, sugar, as well as extra ingredients including maida, flavours, and colours. Sweets have a shorter shelf life and are more prone to microbial growth, especially those that contain dairy products. So it is crucial to prepare them with cleanliness and hygiene and to consume them before their shelf life expires.

  1. Select a milk-based dessert like kheer, mishit doi, shrikhand, or sandesh. These treats are simple to make at home with any changes we choose and milk is a superb supply of first-rate protein.
  2. Fresh fruits, dried fruits like dates and raisins, and natural flavourings like cinnamon and nutmeg can all be used in place of sugar.
  3. Choose a healthy dessert from the available options.
  4. Experiment with something novel and outlandish that includes a useful food. A few examples include dates sesame ladoo, oats dates nut ladoo, walnut ladoo, methi kheer, dudhi kheer, apple sheera, fruit kheer, papaya halwa, beetroot halwa, carrot kalakand, oats pancakes with cranberry syrup, blueberry syrup, or chocolate syrup, homemade protein bars, apple pie, pumpkin pie, fruit yoghurt.

Tips to Eat Healthy

  • In order to be healthy and have a stronger immune system, you should consume adequate fibre-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats
  • Restrict your daily salt intake to less than five grams
  • Reduce your intake of free and added sugars
  • To assist avoid unhealthful weight gain, lower your total fat intake to less than 30% of your overall energy intake
  • Reduce total trans fats (found in processed foods, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines, and spreads) to less than 1% of total energy intake and replace it with unsaturated fat. By doing so, you can lower your risk of developing non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.

The burden of NCDs: What can you do?

India has been suffering from the catastrophic effects of an unhealthy diet, with 135 million people being obese and the number of fatalities from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) rising. Packaged junk food is responsible for more deaths worldwide, and it is also a major contributor to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer.

WHO advised healthy populations to reduce their intake of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sugar, sodium, and total calories while providing adequate intakes of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fibre in order to prevent diet-related NCDs.

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure that you are getting enough potassium, most micronutrients, dietary fibre, and a wide range of important non-nutrient compounds. Fruits and vegetables can take the place of diets that are heavy in saturated fats, sugar, or salt.

In order to encourage healthy lifestyles, front-of-package warning labelling is essential because it enables customers to quickly, clearly, and efficiently identify items that are high in nutrients of concern linked to NCDs.

References

Water Purifiers: An Everyday Necessity

Water Purifiers: An Everyday Necessity

Water Purifiers: An Everyday Necessity

Water Purifiers: An Everyday Necessity

Bacteria and viruses are not visible to the naked eye but they are the major causes for water borne diseases. Bacteria cause gastro-enteritis, typhoid, cholera, paratyphoid, dysentery and diarrhoea. Virus causes polio, dysentery, gastro-enteritis, and diarrhoea. The type of impurities found in the drinking water coming to your home is mainly due to the source and distribution medium of water. Most common sources of drinking water are piped municipal corporation supply, hand operated water pumps, water tankers, lakes, rivers, bore wells, etc.

Why is Water Purifier Required?

Quality of water is getting deteriorated and contaminated day by day. There are many harmful contaminants that are present in water. These impurities are having an adverse effect on human health.  These include dissolved solids, arsenic, fluoride, antibiotics, micro plastics, rust, pesticides, disease-causing germs and bacteria and heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, iron, fluoride etc. These contaminants are responsible for causing serious health issues like cholera, hepatitis, jaundice, typhoid, and even cancer. These impurities affect the taste and smell of the water as well. Hence, it is important to remove these contaminants from the water, so that your family is provided with water that is free of any smell as well as safe and healthy for consumption.

Which type of water purifier is better for what kind of water?

There are different kinds of water purifiers available in India today. Water purifiers can be from just a simple water filter with filter cartridge element to the more advanced water purifiers using membranes for water filtration followed by sterilisation with UV filter.

  • When water is hard and has high contamination, consider RO + UV purifier.
  • When water is hard and has low contamination, consider RO purifier.
  • When water is soft and has high or low contamination, consider UV purifier.
  • If you don’t have installation feasibility for RO, UV water purifiers like running water, optimum water pressure, electricity, consider Gravity based filters
  • Gravity based filter is the right purifier for municipality or corporation water, which is already chemically purified, and since this water comes from running water.

 How to find out which type of water purifier you require?

Water contains many dissolved salts, impurities which should be removed before drinking. TDS levels measure the amount of dissolved salts and heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury present in water.  The first thing to do is to get your home water tested for the type of pollution it may have. Accordingly you may decide which type of water purifier you need.

By measuring TDS Level in water, you will be able to make sure whether the water you are drinking is pure or impure. The maximum TDS level in water is 500mg/litre. You must make sure that it meets this mentioned level. If you see that the level is exceeding 1000mg/litre, we suggest that you do not drink that water.

 How to check the TDS Level in Water at Home?

The easiest method is digital TDS meter tester to check the TDS of water. You can easily buy a Digital TDS Meter for about Rs.150-200.

Water Purification Technologies & Uses

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Purifiers

Reverse Osmosis (RO) pushes the water molecules from the region of higher TDS level to the region of lower TDS level by applying external pressure with the help of a water pump to reverse the natural flow of water. Water with impurities or high TDS is pumped at high pressure into the RO chamber, this pushes the water molecules across the semi-permeable membrane to the other side while leaving the dissolved solids and other impurities behind. All the dissolved solids and impurities along with some input water, also known as RO waste water, are discharged through a separate outlet. RO purifiers are therefore always recommended for purifying water which has high TDS level.

Ultraviolet (UV) Purification

Ultraviolet or UV purification uses ultraviolet rays for the purification of water. A UV purifier works by throwing high intensity UV rays on the water which kills or inactivates the disease causing bacteria and viruses. However, UV purifiers cannot remove any dissolved or un-dissolved impurities or chemicals from water. Hence, most of the UV purifiers that are available in the market use some form of external sediment pre-filters to remove un-dissolved impurities and activated carbon filter to remove chlorine and some dissolved impurities. Therefore, UV water purifiers are only recommended for areas where the water source has low level of TDS. If the water has low TDS level but it is contaminated with bacteria and viruses and appears muddy, then you can use UF+UV water purifier.

Gravity based Water Purifiers

Water is allowed to flow from a top container to a lower container under the effect of gravity. Gravity-based water purifiers do not use electricity and therefore called non-electrical water purifiers. They typically use activated carbon or UF, which is made up of small carbon granules in order to absorb impurities from the water.

Ultrafiltration (UF)

Ultrafiltration also uses a semi-permeable membrane with much larger pores (appx. 0.01 microns) as compared to RO with very small pores (appx. 0.0001 microns).The advantage of UF purifiers is it can work without electricity because the membrane has much larger pores and water can pass through it naturally using the force of gravity. Which means no external pressure or water pump is required. Since UF purifiers do not hold back any water, there is no wastage of water. But there are some limitations of using UF purifiers, because of the larger pore size, UF can only remove un-dissolved solids and larger impurities. It cannot remove the dissolved solids or reduce the TDS level. So, UF purifiers are not suitable for purification of high TDS water or hard water.

Activated Carbon Filter

These types of filters or purifiers are the simplest to use and provide the most basic water purification. These filters generally comprise of sediment or sediment + activated carbon filters which can remove large and un-dissolved impurities like mud and sand along with some chemicals and microorganisms.

Candle Filters

Ceramic candle filters have 2 stainless steel containers where the upper container is fitted with 1-3 ceramic candles. In the candles, silver powder is impregnated which acts as a strong repellent of the pathogenic bacteria. It is considered the safest conventional water filter as per Consumer VOICE repeated studies.

Comparison of Water Purification Technology at a Glance

RO Water Purifier UV Water Purifier UF Water Purifier Gravity Based water Purifier
Requires electricity to operate Requires electricity to operate No electricity required No electricity required
Kills and removes all the bacteria and viruses from the water Kills all bacteria and viruses but their dead bodies remain in the water Removes larger particles, and may remove some viruses Mud, sand and some bacteria, and microbial cysts are removed
Removes the dissolved salts Cannot remove dissolved salts Cannot remove dissolved salts Cannot remove dissolved salts
RO Purifiers has Prefiltration system to work with the dirty water Water should be clear for UV to work Works with dirty turbid water Filter can work with dirty turbid water

Disadvantages of RO Water

RO water purifier removes essential natural minerals like sodium, iron, calcium, and magnesium that are essential for our body and causes a lack of essential minerals within the body. It is a major disadvantage of RO water purifiers. Other disadvantage is high wastage of water (up to 80%). This waste water can be used for utensil washing, flushing, gardening, cleaning of vehicles and floor mopping.

What is TDS (Total dissolved solids)?

TDS stands for total dissolved solids. Minerals, salts or dissolved metals such as calcium, chloride, nitrate, iron, sulphur and some organic matter that dissolves in water is commonly referred to as TDS. Presence of TDS in water will affect the water taste. Water of TDS value above 500 mg/l should be avoided for human consumption. Most commonly used purification system to reduce TDS is reverse osmosis (RO) water purifier.

What should be the safe TDS level in drinking water?

The upper limit of TDS level in drinking water set by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is 500 ppm (500 milligrams per litre). Very low TDS may also not acceptable to consumers due to its insipid taste.

Water with TDS value ranging between 150-300 ppm is considered to be soft water, while water with TDS value higher than 500 ppm is considered to be hard water.

  • Less than 300 mg/litre- Excellent
  • 300-500 – Good
  • 500-900- Average
  • 900-1200- Poor
  • Above 1200 – Unacceptable

 TDS and its Effect

High TDS affects the taste of water (salty) and excessive scaling in water pipes, water heaters, and household appliances such as kettles and steam irons. Such scaling can shorten the service life of these appliances. Water with extremely low concentrations of TDS may also be unacceptable to consumers because of its flat, insipid taste; it is also often corrosive to water-supply systems.

Where RO systems should be recommended/used?

The TDS levels and the contaminants can differ from place to place and house to house. It is very important to test the quality of water that is being supplied to your home to know the type of water purifier that is most suitable in removing these contaminants. RO water purifiers are the best choices for areas with high TDS levels while UV water purifiers are useful in killing the germs and bacteria that cause various water-borne diseases.

  • Soft water has low TDS level; UF water purifiers work pretty well for it.
  • For soft water with high level of biological contamination, go for a UV or UF+UV water purifier.
  • Hard water contains higher level of TDS, apart from specific toxins; so, RO based purifiers are well suited for purifying it.
  • For hard water with high level of biological contamination, go for a RO+UV or RO+UV+UF water purifier.
  • UF filters are best used in combination with another water purification system, as they don’t kill any microorganisms in contaminated water. UF filters only remove suspended solids from water.
  • Activated carbon based water purifiers are ideally suited to remove excess chlorine from water.

RO water wastages and how to utilize it

The high percentage of water wastage is a major cause for worry. This waste water can be used for utensil washing, flushing, gardening, vehicle cleaning and floor mopping.

If the output water from your purifier has very low TDS (less than 100) then it means your purifier is generating more waste water. A very low level of TDS not only results in higher wastage of water but it is also bad for our health as it is devoid of essential minerals. Increasing the TDS will not only make the drinking water healthier but also reduce the wastage.  TDS controller retains adequate quantities of essential minerals in the purified water by adjusting the ratio of water from RO membrane (low TDS) and UF membrane (normal TDS) in the final mix.

Which Type of Water Purifier is best for you?

If you do not want to go into the technicalities of the different purification approaches, then you can simply refer to the following tips in choosing the right water purifier as per your need:

  • RO systems are useful where the TDS levels are above 500 mg/litre and hardness is on the higher side. If the municipal water supply is quite satisfactory and has permissible TDS levels below 500, RO purifiers are not required. UV purifiers should be used instead.
  •  You may get your water tested. It will also help you make a decision based on facts and figures. If the water has a very high amount of magnesium, fluoride nitrates or calcium salts, RO purifier will be the best for you.
  • If the water supplied at your location is highly contaminated (with microbes, bacteria and virus) and is dirty as well, RO/UF + UV purifiers are the best solution. The UV rays destroy the microbes and the RO/UF filters out their dead bodies and other contaminants.

     Tips for Purchasing a Water Purifier

    Please decide on type of water purifier suitable for you as per the quality of water supplied in your home. Make sure you read the customer reviews and ratings about the RO, UV water purifier before purchasing. This will give you a complete idea about the product and it’s after sales service because the customer has already used that product.

    Before selecting the best water purifier for your home, it is very important to check the maintenance cost. Water purifiers need regular maintenance after 3-4 months so that it functions smoothly. As a result, it is necessary to check the quality of after-sales services provided by the brand that you have selected. You may like to go for a trusted water purifier brand which offers excellent customer support. Generally, all the reputed brands provide free installation and one year warranty.

    Water Purifier Brands Available in Markets

    Brand

    Model

    Storage capacity, litre

    Technology

    Water Tank

    material

    Rate of filtration, litre per hour

    Price, Rs.

    Warranty, Years

    Aquaguard

    Aura

    7

    UV + UF

    Plastic

     

    11499

    1

    Havells

    Fab UV Storage

    7

    UV+UF

    plastic

    30

    7999

    1

    KENT

    Max

    7

    UV+UF

    Plastic

    60

    8790

    1

    Kent

    Ultra Storage

    8

    UV+UF

     

    60

    7999

    1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Aquaguard

    Marvel NXT

    6.2

    RO+UV+UF+MC

    Plastic

    45

    12699

    1

    Pureit

    Copper+Mineral RO+UV+MF

    8

    RO + UV + MF

    Plastic

    Upto 28

    22490

    1

    V-Guard

    Zenora

    7

    RO+UV+MB

    Plastic

    15

    10119

    1

    Faber

    FWP Neutron Plus Alkaline

    10

    RO

    ABS

    13.5

    13999

    1

    Livpure

    GLO PRO++

    7

    RO+UV+UF

    Plastic

    12

    10490

     

    Aquaguard

    Amaze

    7

    RO+UV+MTDS 

    Plastic

    36

    9499

    1

    Aquaguard

    ‎Delight RO+UV+UF+MTDS

    7

    RO+UV+UF+MTDS

    Plastic

    36

    11299

    1

    Livpure

     

    Zinger Hot HR DX Ecocare

    6.5

    RO+Pure UV+UF+ Mineraliser+Copper

    ABS

    15

    21990

    1

    Pureit

    ‎RO+UV

    8.0

    RO+UV

    Plastic

     

    22490

    1

    Kent

    Supreme Plus

     

    8.0

    RO+UV+UF+TDS Control 

    Plastic

     

    15499

    1

    Pureit

    Ultima Mineral

     

    10

    RO + UV + MF 

     

    Plstic

     

    18490

    1

    Havells

    Delight DX

    6.5

    RO+UV

    Plastic

    SS tank

     

    13999

    1

    Havells

    Digitouch Alkaline

    6

    RO+UV

    Plastic

     

    14890

    1

    AO Smith

    Z8

    10

    RO+SCMT

    Plastic

     

    24199

    1

    Non-Electric Purifiers

     

     

     

     

     

    Kent

    Gold

    20

    Gravity Based + UF

    Plastic

    20

    2,898

    1

    Tata

    Swach

    18

    Gravity

    Plastic

    14

    2499

    1/2

    Kent

    Gold Plus 

    20

    Gravity-based+UF 

    Plastic

    20

    2998

    1

    Kent

    Gold Optima

    10

    Gravity-based

    Plastic

    18

    1798

    1/2

    Tata

    Desire +

    27

    Gravity Based

    Plastic

     

    3299

    1/2

    Prestige

    TTK Tattva

    16

    Gravity Based

    SS

     

    2899

    1

    Note: Prices may vary. For latest price, check on amazon.in or flipkart.com.

    Related

    Workshop in Madhya Pradesh on Food Labeling

    Workshop in Madhya Pradesh on Food Labeling

    Workshop in Madhya Pradesh on Food Labeling

    In collaboration with Consumer VOICE, New Delhi, a sensitization workshop on food labeling was organized on 1st October, 2022 by NCHSE, Bhopal at Arera hills Participants included women from all walks of life including house wives, professionals and students joined the workshop.

    They were briefed on the harmful critical nutrients of salt, sugar and fats in packaged foods and how non-communicable diseases are a result of high intake of some of these nutrients.

    Food Label

    It is therefore important to read food labels carefully to help make the right choice. They were sensitized on how to read food labels correctly and how one should be careful while buying packaged foods. The food labels help one to identify foods which are high in calories, salt, sugar and fats. Dr Pradip Nandi of NCHSE also discussed the need for Front of Pack Warning Labels.

    The need for Front of Pack Warning Labels and possible types were also discussed through a presentation by Dr. Pradip Nandi.

    Experts told the audience how food labels are helpful to monitor salt and sugar intakes and to make healthier choices through eating a healthy diet. Consumers can also monitor calories, saturated fats and intake of micronutrients which are helpful in avoiding deficiencies like iron and Vitamin D.

    More than 50 women participated in the program which highlighted the importance of food labels. A short practical session was also conducted to help the participants read and understand food labels.

    AFF Food Label

    The workshop was followed with a question-answer session in which various queries were addressed by experts.

    We witnessed active participation and enthusiasm among all participants in the workshop.

    FSSAI Draft Regulation on FOPL

    Food Labels: Understanding them

    Food Labels: Understanding them

    Food label consists of necessary information about the total amount of product contained in a packet, its composition and ingredients. It also informs us about the quality, origin, processing and preservation. The information on food labels is intended to help consumers become savvy about their food choices. The front, back, and sides of a package are filled with information as to what the food contains, and also provides guidance in making healthier selections of processed foods.

    Why is Food labelling so important?

    Food labels provide an insight into the composition of your food. It lets us know the amount of vitamins, minerals, calories, fats, etc. in a standard serving This information is essential in ensuring that you are eating the kinds of food that are good for you.

    Understanding the Nutrition Facts label on food items can help you make healthier choices. The label breaks down the amount of calories, carbs, fat, fibre, protein, and vitamins per serving of the food, making it easier to compare the nutrition of similar products.

    Food labels will help you monitor your salt and sugar intakes and make sure that you are eating a healthy diet. You can monitor calories, saturated fats and your intake of micronutrients which will help you in avoiding deficiencies like iron and Vitamin D.

    Reading food labels can help you understand what you are eating and keep unhealthy food at bay. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are also a major challenge rooted on overweight, obesity and unhealthy diets. NCDs include cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes, etc. There are increasing research evidences suggesting unbalanced/ unhealthy diets and obesity as the major risk factors in the prevalence of NCDs.

    Important Details to Remember

    • Baked products and processed foods generally contain fat that contributes to total calorie intake. If you want to limit your fat intake, pick foods that contain small amounts of total fat.
    • Trans fats, present in foods such as cookies and chips, can increase risk of heart attack and stroke by increasing levels of low-density lipoproteins or LDL. Avoid foods that contain Trans fats or limit its intake.
    • Cholesterol and saturated fats can increase your risk of heart disease. Choose foods in which cholesterol and saturated fats are absent or present in small amounts.
    • Check the nutrition facts panel to reduce your intake of salt, a nutrient that can cause high blood pressure. You can often find large quantities of salt in processed and canned foods. Read food labels while shopping and only buy foods that contain little or no salt.
    • A quick glance at the ingredient list can help you choose healthy foods. If you are diabetic, look into the total carbohydrates, dietary fibre and calories present. Selecting products with higher fibre, lower sugar and sodium contents can help you keep your diabetes in check. Also, make sure to avoid salted snacks and processed foods.

    How can NCDs be lessened?

    Cutting back on salt and sugar are two simple ways to reduce your risk of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It is generally advised to limit one’s salt intake to 5 grams or 1 teaspoon per day. World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned against using salty sauces and condiments like soy and fish sauce. More than 50 grams or 12 teaspoons of sugar per day is also not advisable.

    • One of the ways to reduce the risk of developing NCDs such as hypertension, stroke and heart disease is to monitor and control intake of fats, specifically that of saturated fats. To achieve this, the WHO has advised to use low-fat milk and dairy products.
    • Further, white meats like poultry and fish should be preferred over the consumption of processed meats, such as bacon and sausages.
    • The WHO also alerted to avoid processed, baked and fried foods to lessen the chances of NCDs and to stay healthy.
    • The WHO also suggests that you consume wholegrains like brown rice and wheat, legumes like lentils and beans, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and some foods from animal sources like meat, fish, eggs and milk, in your day to day life.
    • For snacks, you can choose raw vegetables, fresh fruits and unsalted nuts.
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