The FSSAI has updated the standards for bakery products including biscuits and breads under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulations, 2021. These standards include the new variants of biscuits like sugar-free, low sugar variants along with fat-free variants.

These regulations were notified by the apex food regulator recently and shall come into force from January 1, 2022.

According to the notified regulations, ‘Biscuit’ is a baked product leavened or unleavened, coated or uncoated, centre-filled partially or wholly such as but not limited to wafer biscuits, coated wafers, cookies, crackers, centre-filled biscuits, enrobed biscuits, sandwich biscuits, crème biscuit including fat-free/ low fat or sugar-free/ low sugar variants.

“Biscuit can be made from cereal and cereal products including millets/pulses/legumes and/ mixtures. It may also contain fats and oils, including fat emulsions and so on or mixture thereof, baking powder, sugar and sugar products, edible common salt including salt substitutes, dairy products and analogues, nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners, honey, invert sugar, jaggery, dextrose, edible molasses, liquid glucose/glucose syrup (high maltose/high fructose), fruits and vegetables and their products (including dried fruits and vegetables), cocoa and its products including chocolates, tea, coffee, chicory and their extracts, coconut and its products, eggs and egg products, gluten, nut and nut products, malt and malt products, milk and milk products, oilseeds and its products including oilseed flours, all edible starches and edible flours, spices, condiments, herbs and their extracts, seasonings, vinegar, edible seeds, protein concentrates/isolates, yeast and its products including yeast extract, enzymes, nutrients like vitamins and minerals, edible fibres, maltodextrin, oligofructose, trehalose and any other ingredients as specified in Food Safety and Standards Regulations,” reads the notification.

The requirements for biscuits include not more than 0.1% ash insoluble in dilute HCl, % on dry mass basis and not more than 2.0% acidity of extracted fat (as oleic acid).

The definition of bread says that bread and bread type products such as rusks means the baked product prepared from a mixture of atta (whole wheat flour) and/or maida (refined wheat flour), water, salt, yeast or other fermentative medium or leavening medium. It includes the different varieties of breads, rusks and so on.

“It may also contain dairy products and analogue, gluten, sweetening agents including honey (such as- sugar and sugar products, invert sugar, jaggery, dextrose, edible molasses, invert sugar, jaggery, liquid glucose/glucose syrup (high maltose/high fructose), date syrup, malt products and their extracts, edible starches and flour, edible cereals, grains and pulses or their flour, products, semolina, edible seeds including oilseeds and their flour, edible bran, edible fibre rich ingredients or concentrates, trehalose (maximum 10%), coconut and coconut products, cocoa and products derived from cocoa, prebiotic, probiotic, egg and egg products, tea, coffee, chicory and their extract, protein concentrates and isolates, other minerals, nutrients, vitamins, vanaspati, margarine or refined edible oil of suitable type, interesterified vegetable fat, or butter or ghee or their mixture or any other type of edible fat / oil, albumin, lime water, lysine, spices and condiments and their extracts, herbs, seasonings, fruit and fruit products, edible vegetable and vegetable products, dry fruits, nuts and nut products, maltodextrin, oligofructose (maximum 15%), vinegar or any other ingredient as specified in Food Safety and Standards Regulations,” reads the notification.

The requirements under the amended notification include alcoholic acidity (with 90 per cent. alcohol) (for breads) shall not be more than equivalent of 7.5 ml. in NaOH per 100 gram of dried substances, not more than 1.5% acidity of extracted fat as oleic acid and not more than 0.2% ash insoluble in dilute HCI.