The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified the regulations related to processing aids in the official gazette of India. Called Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Ninth Amendment Regulations, 2020, the regulations will come into force from July 1, 2021.
The regulation prescribes the acceptable daily intake, maximum permitted level, residual level, enzyme commission number specification for identity and purity of the processing aids. The regulations also put condition for the labelling of such products (in which processing aid is used) particularly the vegetarian and non-vegetarian declaration is must, irrespective of the residue level.
According to the FSSAI, the processing aids listed in the regulations are recognised as suitable for use in foods in conformance with the provisions of these regulations and have been assigned an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) or determined (wherever applicable), on the basis of other criteria, to be safe and the use of processing aids in conformance with these regulations has to be technologically justified.
The regulations also define the product category, condition in which the processing aid is utilised. The regulations prescribe that unless expressly permitted, processing aids shall not be used in food processing.
The regulation defines processing aid as any substance or material, not including apparatus or utensils, and not consumed as a food ingredient by itself, intentionally used in the processing of raw materials, foods or its ingredients, to fulfil a certain technological purpose during treatment or processing and which may result in the non-intentional but unavoidable presence of residues or derivatives in the final product.
There are 12 processing aids categories defined under the regulations including, Antifoaming Agents, Catalyst, Clarifying Agents and Filtration Agents, Lubricants, Release and Antistick Agents, Microbial Control Agents, Microbial Nutrients and Microbial Nutrient Adjuncts, Solvent for Extraction and Processing, Bleaching, Washing, Peeling and Denuding Agents, Flocculating Agents, Contact Freezing and Cooling Agents, Desiccating Agent, Enzymes and Generally Permitted Processing Aids