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Misleading claims: FSSAI warns against ‘100% fruit juice’ labels on packaged drinks

Juices claiming to be 100% real fruit juices are misleading customers, says the food safety regulator – FSSAI – which is asking manufacturers to immediately remove such claims from their packaging.

In a stern directive to all food business operators (FBOs), the food safety regulator – FSSAI – has asked them to “remove any claims of “100% fruit juice” from labels and advertisements on fruit juices. reconstituted fruit with immediate effect”.

Terming this as various measures taken to “protect and promote public health through regulation and supervision of food safety standards across the country”, the FSSAI cautioned FBOs against the misleading claim that 100 per cent of fruit juice and to remove any such allegations under penalty of severe sanctions. action.

What led to the need to issue guidelines?

In a press release issued on Monday, the food safety regulator – FSSAI – said: “After careful consideration, FSSAI has concluded that in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018, there is no provision for making a “100% Claim.”

According to the FSSAI, “such claims are misleading, particularly in conditions where the main ingredient of the fruit juice is water and the main ingredient for which the claim is made is present only in concentrations limited, or when fruit juice is reconstituted using water and fruit concentrates or pulps.

In view of this, since the FSSAI has drawn attention to the fact that several FBOs were inaccurately marketing various types of reconstituted fruit juices by claiming them to be 100% fruit juices.

Now what?

The regulator has “required” all ESAs to “exhaust all existing pre-printed packaging materials by September 1, 2024.”

Why were FBOs making such claims?

FSSAI sources said, “The regulator was monitoring this space and had received many complaints. Such a directive was therefore necessary.”

In order to provide a fair opportunity to businesses, FSSAI, through these guidelines, has also clarified “concerning the marketing and sale of reconstituted fruit juices as ‘100% fruit juice'”.

The FSSAI directive reminds FBOs to comply with the standards relating to fruit juices as specified in sub-regulation 2.3.6 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations , 2011.

What the regulations say

This regulation states that products covered by this standard must be labeled in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Labeling and Display) Regulations 2020. Specifically, in the list of ingredients, the word “reconstituted” must be mentioned next to it. from the name of the juice. which is reconstituted from concentrate. Additionally, if added nutritious sweeteners exceed 15 g/kg, the product must be labeled as “Sweet Juice”.

It remains to be seen how industry players like Dabur, PepsiCo, ITC, etc., who are present in this space, will respond to this development.

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