FSSAI to strengthen regulatory system for health supplements

India’s health supplement and nutraceutical industry is rapidly growing and is poised to be USD 10 Billion industry by 2025. As this sector grows, FSSAI is gearing itself to strengthen the regulatory ecosystem through cross-border collaboration and learning from the best international practices

FSSAI to strengthen regulatory system for health supplement

Experts have welcomed the initiative considering huge section of people are taking health supplements, special dietary food and food containing probiotics.

In December, 2016, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had notified the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2016. These regulations cover eight categories of foods and carry detailed requirements about their composition, claims, labels etc.

These foods are health supplements, nutraceuticals, foods for special dietary use, food for special medical purpose, speciality food containing plants or botanicals, foods containing probiotics, foods containing prebiotics and the novel foods.

The regulations allow the manufacturing and selling of the above category of foods in the form of tablets, capsules and syrups and must fulfil quality requirements and standards as specified in the Indian Pharmacopoeia.

Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI in a statement said, “The health supplement sector is very important for the country not only from the industry growth perspective but also from public health point of view. This sector, however poses new set of challenges not seen in the traditional food processing sector.”

Agarwal added, “FSSAI is gearing itself to face the challenges by learning from aboard. Indian opportunity in this space is particularly large due to plant and botanicals that have traditionally been used in Ayurveda are included in the regulation.”

The statement issued by FSSAI, said, “These foods may use approved colours and additives as permitted in these regulations, natural, nature identical or synthetic flavours as permitted in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.”

“The regulations allow the manufacturing and selling of the above category of foods in the form of tablets, capsules and syrups and must fulfil quality requirements and standards as specified in the Indian Pharmacopoeia,” the statement elaborated.

Neeta Sonkumwar a nutritionist working with Aundh Civil Hospital, said, “While many people have started consumption of health supplements, special dietary food and food containing probiotics,  the step taken by FSSAI is a welcomed initiative. In some cases, these food contain hormones, steroids or psychotropic ingredients, which is otherwise not permitted.”