Pradeep Singh

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come up with a new directive for all e-commerce Food Business Operators (FBOs) to ensure appropriate categorization of food products being sold on their websites.

The FSSAI has asked FBOs to ensure appropriate categorization of food products being sold on their websites. This comes after FSSAI found instances of food products licensed under 'Proprietary Food' with the nearest category – Dairy-based Beverage Mix or Cereal-based Beverage Mix or Malt Based Beverage – being sold on e-commerce websites under the category ‘Health Drink’, ‘Energy Drink’.

As per PIB report, FSSAI has clarified that the term ‘Health Drink’ is not defined or standardized anywhere under the FSS Act 2006 or rules/regulations made thereunder.

Therefore, FSSAI has advised all e-commerce FBOs to promptly rectify this misclassification by removing or de-linking such drinks or beverages from the category of ‘Health Drinks / Energy Drinks’ on their websites and place such products in the appropriate category as provided under the extant law.

The term – ‘Energy’ Drinks – is permitted to be used only on the products licensed under Food Category System (FCS) 14.1.4.1 and 14.1.4.2 (Carbonated and Non-carbonated water based flavoured drinks), standardized under sub-regulation 2.10.6 (2) of Food Product Standards and Food Additives Regulations 2011 (Caffeinated Beverage), the report said.

Proprietary Foods are items of food that are not standardized in Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations and Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Food, and Novel Food) Regulations but use standardised ingredients, the report added.

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