Explanation of Vegan Food Regulations in India

The Central Government released the Final Notice for the Food and Safety (Vegan) Standards Regulations, 2022. It specified what constitutes a vegan food, what type of labelling/packaging will be required for it and the compliances for food business operators as well.

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The government plans to implement it with immediate effect. The notification was dated June 10 but was released on Wednesday. It was published by the Food Standards Safety Association of India (FSSAI). The FSSAI is India’s supreme food regulator under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

What is veganism?

The number of people choosing to eat vegan is increasing around the world. Although vegetarianism is not a new concept in India, veganism deviates from the practice in that it prohibits the consumption of dairy and other animal products. Although veganism is promoted in some Western countries as a way to change one’s lifestyle and lessen the negative effects on the environment, experts disagree. However, it is safe to say that veganism is also becoming more popular in India, albeit among a smaller group of people.

vegan food
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Meat and fish are not allowed in vegetarian and vegan diets. However, vegan diets go one step further and ban all other products containing animal by-products. Therefore, vegans abstain from dairy products, eggs and honey in addition to meat. Additionally, no vegan meal ever contains lard, whey, or gelatin, which are examples of by-products of animal agriculture.

Compared to a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet offers significant advantages. Vegan diets completely renounce all forms of animal abuse, while vegetarian diets only mitigate it. A vegan diet may also be better for your health and the environment than a diet that includes dairy and eggs. For these reasons, many vegetarians end up switching to veganism.

No “animal-derived, tested” products

In a notification, the Food Standards Safety Association of India (FSSAI) defined “vegan food” as any food or food ingredient, including additives, flavorings, enzymes and carriers, or processing aids that are not made from products of animal origin and in which these ingredients have not been used at any time during the production or processing of the food.

“No person shall manufacture, package, sell, offer for sale, market or otherwise distribute or import foods as vegan foods unless they comply with the requirements set out in these regulations,” the government said. , must not have involved animal testing for any purpose, including safety assessment, unless provided by a regulatory authority,” he added.

Not only the production, the packaging must be carefully monitored

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“We also ensure that every packaging material used for vegan food complies with the provisions of the packaging regulations and the food business operator (FBO) must ensure that all stages of production, processing and distribution are designed to take appropriate precautions in accordance with good manufacturing practices so as to avoid the unintended presence of non-vegan substances,” an official said, as quoted by News18.

Traceability down to manufacturer level

The new regulations also notify that there must be established traceability to manufacturer level and that the food business operator must comply with any other requirements specified by the Food Authority to maintain the vegan integrity of food or food ingredients or derivative products from time to time. .

Last year, the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released a new logo for vegan food products. This is supposed to help consumers identify plant-based foods more easily. This new logo was part of the FSSAI’s first draft rules for vegan food products. They are called the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2021.

Similar to the distinction made between vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods, vegan foods will now be denoted by a green logo and the letter “V”. There is a small green plant and the word vegan under the letter. According to a statement from the FSSAI, the color “green” and the leaf “indicate that the ingredient/product is of plant origin. The letter “V” identifies the product as “vegan”. The logos for vegetarian products and non-vegetarians are dots in green and brown colors, respectively.

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