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India to Rate the Health Level of Packaged Food with the New INR System

India’s latest draft amendment mainly involves nutritional labelling, including the proposed Indian Nutrition Rating (INR).

On September 20, 2022, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) consulted on the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling & Display) Amendment Regulations, 2022. The revision mainly involves nutritional labelling, including the proposed Indian Nutrition Rating (INR). Any feedback shall be submitted within 60 days from September 20, 2022.

Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) is introduced to rate the health level of prepackaged food.

The INR system includes the baseline reference values and categories, the format for displaying the logo, how the INR score is evaluated, and the food types exempted from front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOPNL) under INR.

l  The INR system assigns packaged foods a rating from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest), based on their overall nutritional profile.

l  The food business operators (FBO) shall submit their product’s nutrient profile in the FoSCoS system for generating the respective INR score and the logo.

l  The prescribed INR format shall be displayed on the front of pack of every prepacked item, except for food categories exempted from FOPNL.

FSSAI adds definitions of FOPNL and HFSS.

Item

Definition

Front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOPNL)

l It refers to a form of supplementary nutrition information that presents simplified nutrition information on the front-of-pack of pre-packaged foods.

l It can include symbols/graphics, text or a combination thereof that provide information on the food’s overall nutritional value and/or on nutrients included in the FOPNL.

High fat, sugar, salt (HFSS)

l It refers to a processed food product with high levels of saturated fat or total sugar or sodium.

l A product shall be defined as HFSS if its declared values of sugar, fat and salt satisfy one of the following circumstances:

1) The energy value (kcal) of total sugar is not less than 10% of the total energy.

2The energy value (kcal) of saturated fat is not less than 10% of the total energy.

3) The value of sodium is not less than 1 mg/1 kcal.

Other revisions regarding nutritional labelling:

l  FSSAI stipulates that the percentage of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and millet, if present in the food product, shall be declared on the front of pack.

l  The amendment adds that the nutritional information of dietary fibre per 100g or 100ml shall be given on the label.

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