The FSSAI has issued a draft on standards for Indian namkeens under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2022, applicable to Indian namkeens, savouries and snacks, for direct human consumption both pre-packaged and packaged product sold over the counter.

The draft describes ‘namkeens’ as ‘salty savoury products that are traditional and/or innovative based on Indian heritage and culture. They may be prepared by one or combination of raw materials and permitted ingredients as listed under Section 2 of this regulation as per their relevant category.

“They may be processed by steam cooking, boiling, baking, frying, extrusion, puffing, roasting or similar processes and/or any combination of processes thereof. The final product may be prepared in any suitable shape, and style,” reads the draft.

Section 2 of these regulations defines the essential composition or raw material of the namkeens including millets/cereals or pulses and/ or their processed products or their combination for grain-based namkeens, fruits and/or vegetables and /or their processed products fruit and vegetable-based, dry fruits, nuts, seeds, and/or their processed products for dry fruits, seeds- based namkeens, and composite namkeens for which any combination of the raw materials can be used.

Under the quality factors, the draft lays down that the raw materials used in the production process shall meet their respective standards. The product shall have characteristic organoleptic properties like appearance, texture, flavour and taste. It shall be free from any rancid taste or smell or off-taste. It shall be free from insects, insect fragments, visible moulds and objectionable extraneous matter.

Also, the free fatty acids as oleic acid equivalent maximum was prescribed at 0.5% for all kinds of namkeen with a maximum acid value of 1.

The labelling requirement lays down that each package shall be labelled in such a manner that it would carry the name of the product along with relevant categories for example ?Name of the product ?(Category)- Aloo Bhujia (Fruit- and Vegetable-Based Namkeen