Food Safety News – India updates – Nov 3


FSSAI finalizes norms for fruit content in fizzy drinks

FSSAI has notified that drinks with fruit juice quantity below 10% but not less than 5%, and 2.5% in case of lime or lemon, should be called carbonated beverage with fruit juice
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has released a definition for carbonated fruit beverages.
It has notified that beverages with fruit juice quantity below 10% but not less than 5%, and 2.5% in case of lime or lemon, should be called carbonated beverage with fruit juice.
This is part of the 11th amendment of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) regulations, 2016. “… in such cases the requirement of TSS (total soluble solids) shall not apply and the quantity of fruit juice shall be declared on the label,” the FSSAI notification, which came through The Gazette of India dated 25 October and was uploaded on FSSAI’s website on 1 November, read. TSS determines the quality of fruit juice content in beverages.
Before this, FSSAI guidelines on aerated beverages did not define carbonated fruit beverages and there was no set standard that the industry could have followed. In June, the food regulator had released a draft notification, defining ‘carbonated fruit beverages or carbonated fruit drinks’, seeking views from industry within two months.
The prescribed fruit content level, however, is much higher than what the industry had asked for. Indian Beverages Association, an industry lobby that bats for beverages companies, had asked the regulator to lower the fruit juice content threshold in carbonated beverages from 10% (minimum) to 3%.
The definition of fruit-based carbonated beverages came more than two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged multinational carbonated beverages companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to mix natural fruit juice (at least 5%) in aerated beverages to help augment fruit sales for Indian farmers. “Millions of people buy Pepsi and Coke. I have asked these companies if they can put 5% natural juice in their drinks,” Modi had said in September 2014.
Some of the beverages makers have already launched carbonated beverages with fruit content during the past one year.
Coca-Cola India, the local arm of American beverage maker Coca-Cola Co., already sells Fanta Green Mango, a carbonated drink that has 10.4% fruit content. Rival PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd, the local arm of American food and beverages company PepsiCo Inc, sells Nimbooz Masala Soda, a juice-based (5% lemon juice) aerated beverage.
While Coca-Cola started piloting with Fanta Green Mango about a year after Modi’s speech, PepsiCo had launched Nimbooz Masala Soda nationally in the summer of 2015.
Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been working on more fruit-based carbonated beverages and were waiting for FSSAI to come out with clear guidelines. Both the companies have plans to launch more products in the category over the next few years, Mint reported on 22 July.
Not just Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, in July home-grown Dabur India Ltd entered into the fizzy drinks market by launching a range of fruit juice-based aerated drinks under the brand—Réal VOLO, which the company claims has 20-25% fruit juice content.
Mumbai-based Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd sells Appy Fizz. In February, Bisleri International launched Bisleri Pop, an aerated fruit-based drink, to re-enter the carbonated beverages market that it exited in 1993 after its promoter Ramesh Chauhan sold five popular brands—Thums Up, Limca, Gold Spot, Maaza and Citra— to Coca-Cola. Chauhan had a non-compete agreement with Coca-Cola that expired in 2008.
During the past few years, cola companies have seen sales of carbonated beverages being impacted with consumers opting for juices and fruit-based drinks. In 2015, juices saw a volume growth of 20.06% and a value growth of 25.78% over the previous year. Fizzy drinks, in the same period, grew 8.42% by volume and 10.82% by value, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.


IFFI: first batch of certified food vendors to cater to crowds

PANAJI: Goa’s street food vendors could be sporting a smart, new look this IFFI 2016. About 40 food vendors will be attractively turned out in stylish uniforms with matching apron, caps and wearing gloves while preparing and serving food.
The well-groomed vendors, who are a far cry from the usual scruffy looks of a gaddo owner, will be trained in hygiene and sanitation and will be displaying on their carts a certificate of safe food practices issued by the FDA office.
Serve Safe Food@ Street Food, a food safety and hygiene training and certification programme for street food vendors kicked off at the FDA office in Bambolim on Wednesday and the new avatar of local food vendors is courtesy the programme. All the registered and unregistered street food vendors of the state are due for training with a completion time schedule of end-January 2017. There are an estimated 500 registered vendors currently while unregistered are likely to be in the 150 range.
Salim Veljee, director of FDA, said that certified and trained vendors during an international event of IFFI will send out a message that Goa is safe place for street food. “Participation is voluntary and FDA will not be playing the role of a regulator and force vendors to train,” he said, while appealing to all vendors present to be a part of the initiative.
Project ‘Serve Safe Food@ Street Food’ is an initiative of by the central government viz. FSSAI and Goa is the first state where it is launched as a pilot scheme. It will be gradually extended to other states, said Veljee. MNC food company, Nestle India, is supporting the project in the state as part of its CSR activities together with Delhi-based National Association of Street Food Vendors of India (NASVI).
Sanjay Khajuria, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Nestle India, said that street food is the tastiest but fear of getting ill is always in the mind while eating it. “Goa as a tourist state should aim in becoming like Thailand or some of the South East Asian countries where you can close your eyes and eat street food,” he said. About 90 per cent of illness can be avoided with clean food and water, added, Khajuria.
NASVI has sent six trainers to educate street food vendors on safe and hygienic food. Arbind Singh, national co-ordinator, NASVI, said that the programme is an opportunity for street food vendors to change and they must grab the chance and learn preparation and handling of food in a hygienic manner. NASVI is launched an app in Delhi giving the names of food cart operators and the app would also be launched in the state.
The national organisation of street vendors is planning to hold a street food festival around January-February on the lines of similar festival in Delhi. “Street food melts in the mouth, is popular and everyone loves it,” said Singh.

Anupama removed as Food Safety Commissioner

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: P V Anupama was today removed as Food Safety Commissioner and she has been transferred to Social Justice Department as its director. 
P Balakiran, who was the Social justice department director, has been appointed as Panchayat director.

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