Food is our necessity and we derive energy for all daily activities from the nutrients we get from the food we consume. Especially at times of crisis like the pandemic, nutrition plays an extremely important role in leading a healthy life. Therefore, it is significant that certain standards of quality and safety are established and adhered to for maintaining hygiene, nutrient value, and safety of any given food product. Regulatory agencies have stringent policies for food packaging. Whenever a new product is launched or if the packaging is renewed, the food manufacturers have to ensure that they stick to the set standards.
Contamination in foods is rampant and it’s a known fact. This is causing health hazards to take a toll on the lives of people. Therefore, we have Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), India’s apex food regulator working toward addressing the safety and hygiene issues in food and food products. FSSAI has issued fixed packaging guidelines to identify and regulate different packaging components such as plastics, glass, paper, metal, printing inks, etc.
FSSAI Packaging Guidelines
Food packaging prevents the food contents from microbiological, chemical, physical, and atmospheric contamination and is also important for preservation purposes. Hence, the quality of the material used for packaging purposes must be appropriate so as to avoid any chemical reactions or contamination of food.
FSSAI has made it mandatory for food manufacturing units to conform to the Indian Standards provided in their Schedules. Food manufacturers have to ensure that food grade material or plastics are used. Food product testing must be undertaken to check and analyze whether the packaging is food friendly and durable. Along with this, the testing should also be done for the transferability of printing inks stamped on the food labels.
The need for an accredited Food Quality Testing Lab
Now, to meet the provisions of providing relevant knowledge and information among the consumers regarding the implementation of new packaging regulations, food manufacturers send and trust accredited food sampling laboratories to perform food testing. This helps in deriving data about the mandatory nutrition requirements for consumer information. Also, declaration of this information to the consumers is compulsory according to the regulations.
Since most food products are directly attached to its packaging material, testing the packaging, its nutritional labeling, and shelf life study is very important. Equinox Labs offers a range of food quality monitoring services for food manufacturers to ensure they offer safer food products to consumers.