FSSAI is an authority established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India that provides a food license to every food business in India. FSSAI checks that the food business qualifies in its quality checks and that follow FSSAI rules and guidelines.
Recently the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has laid down several parameters for the nation’s expandable packaged sweets (mithai) and namkeen market. Members of the federation of sweets and namkeen manufacturers had a meeting with FSSAI to discuss and ensure the ways to set a threshold on the branded packaged food items that qualify for high in fat, sugar, salts (HFSS ) category of foods. According to the Federation of Sweets and Namkeen Manufacturers (FSNM) in the past, there are no such standards on the industry rather they are following general standards only.
FSSAI promotes healthier versions of sweets and namkeens that have low fat, salt, and sugar manufactured by such snacking companies such as Haldiram’s, Bikanervala, and Das Pendawala.
The variants include that are low on sugar, salt and have no trans-fat and usage of better cooking oil that are free of preservatives and ensure that raw materials used in the products like khoya and milk are of good quality. The FSSAI allows manufacturers to use a label or logo on their products that will differentiate food items to consumers. Manufacturers who will meet up the standards allowed to use the “Same Taste, Better Health “logo which is not mandatory but voluntary to use.
As per the research of Euromonitor, India’s snack market is estimated at rupees thirty-three thousand and five hundred crores. India’s snacking market occupies a large chunk that sells traditional namkeen. Mithai, on the other hand, is a sweet that is consumed by millions on specific wedding or festive occasions.
The step was taken up by FSSAI benchmarks such as Indian snacks as unhealthy and fatty. FSSAI called these famous brands to collaborate with them to upgrade the stands of Indian Traditional sweets and namkeens. Sweet and namkeen manufacturers have been asked by FSSAI to represent their list of top food items where changes can be initiated without necessarily changing the taste of these food items. This move will be considered in a reduction in the usage of sugar, fat, and salt and provide a better way to use raw materials in the products made by these snacking industries.
How can you save yourself from misleading foods?
- Packaged products that depict the product ingredients that you are going to eat. So, before buying the product, read all the nutrition facts table and try to make one or two changes at a time. This will generally help a person to make healthier choices.
- Try and check the portion size before buying a product. As the calorie count will vary if you are buying for yourself or your family, so buy accordingly.
- FSSAI is working towards overhauling food labeling regulations that will affect the consumption of many Indians and ensure more transparency. It’s definitely a welcome move.