16 Feb 2021, 15:43 — 7 min read
Food supplements are not new to India. But elongated working hours increased stress, and a changed lifestyle has enhanced their importance. The desire for a healthier diet and physical fitness has made it an attractive segment for potential sellers.
Food supplements come under the purview of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India – or FSSAI – and are governed by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The Act states the following – ‘no person shall manufacture, distribute, sell or import any novel food, genetically modified articles of food, irradiated food, organic foods, foods for special dietary uses, functional foods, nutraceuticals, health supplements, proprietary foods and such other articles of food which the Central Government may notify in this behalf’.
A Food Business Operator (FBO) intending to manufacture or sell food supplements needs a license in order to do so. The regulation for that is relatively new. It is known as the Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Food and Novel Food) Regulations, 2016. This regulation has been in effect since 1 January 2018. It covers the following type of foods:
These are just brief descriptions of the classifications to offer an idea regarding what constitutes a food supplement in India.
The previous section outlines the classification of foods that can be sold as supplements. However, there are other things that prospective food supplement sellers need to keep in mind.
Food supplements can be sold in powder, capsule, tablet, and syrup form. The number of nutrients added to the supplements cannot go beyond the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) set by the Indian Council of Medical Research. In the case of health supplements, the individual nutrient content cannot be less than 15% of RDA. However, if the claim is of higher nutrient content, it cannot be less than 30% of the RDA.
Plants or botanicals in naturally occurring forms cannot be considered food supplements. Also, their minimal process forms, either juice or cook, cannot consider a health supplement, nutraceutical, FSDU, or FSMP. The formulation of supplements has to be on sound medical principles and their benefits have to back up by valid data. Hormones, steroids, and psychotropic drugs cannot be added to these food items.
Labeling requirements, some of which are presented below, are also necessary to follow:
Also read: FSSAI – Food licensing
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Posted byVakilsearch Staff
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