Regulating Phytosterols in India

Posted By: Selerant RSA


Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) published a draft regulation on August 28, 2015 with reference to the use of plant sterols (phytosterols) from non-GMO sources, as food ingredients. The proposed limit for the use of sterols is 0-40 mg/ kg body weight. It relates to the following products: yellow fat spreads, milk products, milk based fruit drinks, cheese, salad dressings, juices and nectars, edible oils and baked products, such as bread.

Draft regulation is now open for comments and suggestions from the stakeholders.

Furthermore, it has been proposed that the products listed above would need to carry a label declaration as presented here:

The current regulation that has been in force since 17 February, 2015 sets limits for plant sterols or phytosterols as food ingredients in food categories such as: fat spread, milk products, milk based fruit drink, fermented milk products, soy and rice drink, cheese products, yoghurt products, spice sauces, salad dressings, juices and nectars. It states that the total amount of phytosterols consumed should not exceed 3 grams per day.

Current regulations also standardize the mandatory information regarding sterols that should be found on the label, being identical to the label declaration proposed in the new regulations.

The main difference between regulation in force and the proposed draft is that the new draft sets the maximum advisable limits for plant sterol consumption, defined as mg per kg of body weight.

Furthermore, the proposed food label foods products must also clearly state: what constitutes a standard portion of the food, expressed in gram or milliliter, and of the amount of phytosterols or plant sterols, calculated as free sterols, contained in such a portion.