FSSAI issues draft notification for Indian Nutrition Rating on food packets

Items are proposed to be assigned scores based on energy and content of saturated fat, sugar, sodium, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, millets, dietary fibre, and protein per 100 gm servings of solid and liquid foods.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a draft notification for responses from experts and the public to the printing of Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) on food packets as part of a labelling exercise with healthy food items getting a higher rating. The move is aimed at letting consumers know the items with high salt, fat, and sugar and to allow them to make informed choices while purchasing them.

Items are proposed to be assigned scores based on energy and content of saturated fat, sugar, sodium, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, millets, dietary fibre, and protein per 100 gm servings of solid and liquid foods.

“The INR system rates the overall nutritional profile for packaged food by assigning it a rating from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest). More stars indicate the food product is better positioned to provide for [the] daily human need of nutrients. The logo shall be displayed close in proximity to the name or brand name of the product on [the] front of [the] pack,” says the notification.

Items such as milk products, vegetable oil, fat, fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, flour, and sweeteners do not need to have ratings. The manufacturers will have to apply online on the FSSAI portal for suitable logos for their items.

FSSAI, the food regulator, has been working on improving food package labelling regulations for the consumers’ benefit and has sent notices to restaurants for not mentioning the calorie count against food items on the menus as per the requirement of its latest labelling regulations.

In November 2020, the regulator notified new food packaging and labelling regulations under which restaurants with central licenses or chains of 10 or more eateries need to mention the calorie count per serving size of the food item on the menu card, boards, and booklets for customers.

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