A source from FSSAI said that zinc was a micronutrient and was required in a very small quantity for daily metabolism.
“The scientific panel under FSSAI has come to a conclusion that zinc shall be omitted from the list of contaminants from the regulations. The move is in line with imparting nutrition, as India has a prolonged history of micronutrient deficiency,” he added.
These regulations will be called the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Fourth Amendment Regulations, 2016.
The notification stated, “In the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011, Regulation 2.1 relates to metal contaminants. In Sub-regulation 2.1.1, under the Table, serial number (5) relates to zinc and the entries relating thereto. Wherever zinc is referred to as a contaminant under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives), Regulations, 2011, it shall be omitted.”
Abdul Rehman, proprietor, Raahat Fish and Fish Products, Mangalore, said, “Zinc is a usual contaminant which led to several issues in the safety scenario when it comes to fish and foods originating in the sea. The recent FSSAI notification of removing zinc as a contaminant will be benefiting a large number of food business operators (FBOs) involved in the business of seafood.”
Last year, the United Nations (UN) also highlighted that Indians, especially women, faced micronutrient deficiency. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) study released last year also highlighted the rampant diagnosis of micronutrients like zinc, iron, potassium and Vitamins A and B12 in India.
Earlier, zinc was included under the metal contaminants, under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives), Regulations, 2011