The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a draught notification seeking comments from experts and the general public on the printing of Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) on food packets as part of a labelling exercise, with healthier foods receiving higher ratings. The move is intended to inform consumers about items high in salt, fat, and sugar, allowing them to make informed purchasing decisions.
Scores are proposed for items based on energy and saturated fat, sugar, sodium, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, millets, dietary fibre, and protein content per 100 gm serving of solid and liquid foods.
“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 the food product is better positioned to provide for [the] daily human need of nutrients. The logo shall be displayed close in proximity to the name or brand name of the product on [the] front of [the] pack,” says the notification.
Milk, vegetable oil, fat, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, flour, and sweeteners do not require ratings. Manufacturers must apply for appropriate logos for their products online through the FSSAI portal.
The food regulator, FSSAI, has been working on improving food package labelling regulations for the benefit of consumers and has issued notices to restaurants for failing to include the calorie count against food items on menus as required by its latest labelling regulations.
The regulator issued new food packaging and labelling regulations in November 2020, requiring restaurants with central licences or chains of 10 or more eateries to include the calorie count per serving size of the food item on the menu card, boards, and booklets for customers.