FSSAI to restrict terms like ’fresh’, ’natural’ in food ads


Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has formulated a draft notification to curb the advertisements that falsely label food items as ‘fresh’, ‘natural’, ‘traditional’, ‘premium’, ‘best’ and more on the labels of processed foods unless these meet certain standards.


According to the draft ‘Food Safety and Standards (Advertisement and Claims) Regulation’, the term ‘fresh’ can only be applied to products that have not been processed in any manner except washed, peeled, chilled, trimmed and put through other processing necessary for making it safe for consumption, without altering its basic characteristics.


Also, ‘freshly stored’ or ‘freshly packed’ shall not be termed for food containing additives and/or subjected to packaging, storing or any other supply chain processes that control freshness.


Pawan Agarwal, CEO-FSSAI in a statement given to media said, “We are coming out with this draft notification to stop misleading ads and claims. It had been in the pipeline for some time to ensure people are not fooled in the name of natural and fresh food.”


The draft also says that the use of the word ‘natural’ will be permitted only for food derived from a plant, animal, micro-organism or mineral and to which nothing has been added.


Draft also says that, “Compound foods shall not themselves be described directly or by implication as natural but such foods may be described as ’made from natural ingredients’. This will also apply to words such as ’real’ and ’genuine’, when used in place of ’natural’ in such a way as to imply similar benefits. Provided however, claims such as ’natural goodness’, ’naturally better’ and ’nature’s way’ shall not be used.”


Similarly, “The term ’traditional’ can only be used to describe a recipe, fundamental formulation or processing method for a product that has existed for a significant period running over generations. On the other hand, the term ’original’ shall only be used to describe a food which is made to a formulation, the origin of which can be traced and that has remained unchanged over time.”

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