The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a draft for amendment into the Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specified Food and Food Ingredients) Regulations, 2017, to add more specifications for the approval process of such products, particularly, the timeline.

The FSSAI has proposed that the applicants of such food products shall be given time of 45 days to correct deficiencies, if any, in the information provided in support of the product with applications.

Also, if the food authority requires any support documents, data or clarifications related to the product, the FBO needs to submit the same within 30 days from the issuance of such a request.

And the food business operator may file an appeal before the Chairperson, Food Authority, against any decision of rejection of his application within 30 days of the receipt of the letter. The appeal made after 30 days shall not be considered and the application will be treated as closed.

Earlier, there was no such provision of specific timeline under the approval process of non-specified food products.

Further, there shall be an expert committee or panel to examine the application submitted by food business operators for such food products.

According to FSSAI, the proposed amendment also specifies requirements for approval of non-specified food and food ingredients in the ‘application form’ of such products seeking elaborate info on whether the application was for novel food product, ingredient or processing using novel technology, listed or unlisted additive, new processing aid or enzyme, whether the food was new botanical or processed botanical, new fruit or fruit based, probiotic or prebiotic, or any other kind.

Even pre-mix of ingredients or additives requires approval under non-specified food category.

The amendment further seeks functional use explanation in the application form from the FBO like claims, and end use declaration along with safety studies done by the applicants.