Packaging and Labeling is an important factor in the packaged food business. While packaging deals with how the food product is packaged, keeping in mind the nature, size and shelf life of the product, Labeling tells the customer about what is inside the packaging. According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) – India’s apex food regulator – every pre-packaged food should have the nutritional labeling in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, notified by the FSSAI.
In general, the regulations state that :
- There shall be no false, misleading or deceptive description
- The label should be in such a way that it cannot be separated from the container,
- The contents should be clear, prominent, permanent and readily legible, and the information should be either in English or Hindi , although the use of other languages is not restricted in this regulation.
As per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, every packaged food has to be labelled with the following information:
- Name of the Food
- List of Ingredients
- Nutritional information
- Declaration of Veg or Non-Veg
- Declaration regarding food additives
- Name and complete address of the manufacturer
- Net quantity
- Lot/Code/Batch number
- Date of manufacture or packing
- Best before and use by date
- Country of origin for imported food
- Instructions for use
Utmost importance is placed in the information presented in the labeling of the pre-packed food – with special care taken for nutritional information. The ingredients and the amount of each (or most) is mentioned, so that a consumer can make informed choices about what he/she is buying. Thus, if anyone is allergic to garlic, they can be aware that a processed food contains garlic (which should be mentioned in the list of ingredients) and avoid it.
How would nutritional labeling the customer’s decision on what to eat?
- Someone with high blood pressure would look for low sodium salt as specified in the label
- For younger kids, food labels can help one choose the right amount of much needed natural Vitamin A & C, calcium and iron for kids.
- High Fibre, vitamins, and minerals and low sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and fats (especially saturated fat and trans fat) is the most sought after choice of combination that people particular about their diet prefer.
How to know what is good for you and what not? Notice the Nutritional Labeling content in the label for the following :
– If nutrient content is 5% or less of a nutrient, then the food is considered a poor source of that nutrient.
– If nutrient content is between 10 to 20% of your daily recommended amount of a nutrient, it’s a good source of that nutrient.
– If nutrient content is more than 20%, it’s high in that nutrient.
Thus, Labeling is very crucial for food businesses nowadays. Equinox Labs has collaborated with numerous food businesses and provided them with efficient nutritional labeling services.
If you are a food business, and wish to do the nutritional labeling for your food product, visit our website www.equinoxlab.com