The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (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, savories, and snacks for direct human consumption, both pre-packaged and packaged products sold over the counter.
Namkeens are defined in the draft as “traditional and/or innovative savory products based on Indian origin and culture.” They can be made using any one or a few of the raw materials and allowed ingredients stated in Section 2 of this regulation.
They can be prepared in a variety of ways, including but not limited to steam cooking, boiling, baking, frying, extrusion, puffing, roasting, and similar methods. “The final product can be developed in any reasonable form or fashion,” the document reads.
For grain-based Namkeens, this means millets, cereals, and pulses and/or their processed products or their combination; for fruit- and vegetable-based Namkeens, this means fruits and vegetables and/or their processed products; for dry fruits, nuts, and seeds-based Namkeens, this means any combination of the raw materials; and for composite Namkeens, this means any combination of the raw materials.
The draft specifies under “quality factors” that all inputs into the manufacturing process must be of acceptable quality. Identifiable organoleptic qualities, including but not limited to appearance, texture, flavor, and taste, must be present in the final product.
There must be no stale or unpleasant aftertaste. There must not be any bugs, bug parts, mold, or other offensive debris presents. Further, for all varieties of Namkeen, an acid value of 1 was set as the maximum allowable for free fatty acids as oleic acid equivalent.
The labeling mandate states that all packages must clearly and legibly display the product’s name and any applicable category information, such as: What’s the name of the product? Type: Aloo Bhujia (fruit- and vegetable-based Namkeen).
This shall ensure and maintain standards of health and sanitation across the country and help people lead a healthy lifestyle.