INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a new directive requiring all Food Business Operators (FBOs) to eliminate any claims of ‘100% fruit juices’ from the labels and advertisements of reconstituted fruit juices.

This directive is to be implemented with immediate effect, and FBOs are instructed to use up all existing pre-printed packaging materials before September 1, 2024.

The decision comes after FSSAI discovered that several FBOs were inaccurately marketing reconstituted fruit juices as ‘100% fruit juices.’

A thorough examination revealed that this practice is misleading, particularly when the major ingredient is water, and the fruit juice itself is reconstituted from concentrates or pulp with limited fruit content.

The FSSAI clarified that, under the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018, there is no provision for making a ‘100%’ claim for reconstituted fruit juices. This clarification serves as a reminder to FBOs to adhere strictly to the standards set under sub-regulation 2.3.6 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards & Food Additives) Regulation, 2011.

These standards require that products be labelled according to the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020.

Labelling requirements

According to the regulation, reconstituted fruit juices must clearly mention the word “reconstituted” against the name of the juice on the ingredient list.

Additionally, if added nutritive sweeteners exceed 15 gm/kg, the product must be labelled as ‘Sweetened juice.’ These measures are designed to provide consumers with accurate information about the content and composition of fruit juices.

FBOs are given a deadline of September 1, 2024, to exhaust all existing packaging materials that bear the ‘100% fruit juice’ claim. Post this date, any non-compliance with the labelling standards will be subject to regulatory action as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and related regulations.

This directive aims to protect consumers from misleading advertising practices and ensure transparency in the food industry. FBOs are expected to comply promptly with these regulations to avoid penalties and maintain consumer trust.

For all the latest food safety news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.