For the first time in the country, it will be mandatory for alcohol manufacturers to specify concentration of ethyl alcohol content for all variants of alcohol including whisky, brandy, beer, gin, rum and vodka. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is gearing up to set standards for the same.
The standards will also be in place for local-made alcoholic beverages including arrack, country spirit and various kinds of wines. This move, according to highly-placed sources in State Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), will help reduce the incidents of poisoning caused after consuming local-made liquors, which in the past have caused several casualties.
“With the content specifications becoming mandatory, the use of smuggled additives will no more be as rampant as it is at present. This can help avert any untoward incidents threatening lives of the consumers,” informed an official.
FSSAI has also urged the public to give feedback by October 4 after which the official standards for alcohol contents will be sealed by the food safety authority. Officials have also said the national statutory body is fixing the standards according to those prescribed by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).
India, being a member country of OIV, will then be abiding by these set standards for all alcoholic beverages.
Not only will the concentration of ethyl alcohol be defined, the additives, production methods, mention of grape variants and their origin of cultivation in case of wines will be mentioned.
Now on, the labelling information will also need specifications of alcohol by volume and the number of standard drinks each bottle per package has.
It has defined each standard drink as 10gm or 12.7ml of ethyl alcohol measured at 20 degree C.
Labelling for wine will be more stringent and manufacturers will now have to specific generic name of the grape being used, and geographic origin and vintage dates.