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.
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.
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.
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 these additives are used in the food.