The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the country’s largest food body which regularly issues circulars and notifications regarding compliance and best practices to be followed by businesses in the F&B and Food Services Industries.
The following are the latest updates by FSSAI on packaging criteria to be followed by fruit and vegetable-based F&B products and brands.
Packaging Criteria for Fruit and Vegetable Products by FSSAI
Protection of identification mark against seal damage
Fruit packages must have the licensing number and the manufacturer’s special identification mark to be kept sufficiently away from the seal. This is to ensure that they don’t stand at risk of being torn away when the seal is broken by the consumer.
Sanitary, clean and secure packaging requirements
FSSAI requires that the packaging must have sanitary top cans made from tin plates belonging to a list of approved types. It must be fully airtight to prevent any kind of moisture from seeping in. The packaging must be clean, secure and must be stored or shipped in appropriate containers, either in cartons (for frozen products) or wooden barrels (for sulphited products).
Brand-new, lined and lacquered containers
The containers must be brand new and must have been covered by a polyethylene lining of 250 gauge from the inside. Lacquered packaging may also be used. Open tops may only be used for food products containing less than 0.5% of acetic acid.
Recommended packaging material
Recommended packaging material for fruit and vegetable products include paper, wood or cardboard. The packaging material must be flexible and aseptic. It must be of food grade quality and should conform to BIS standards.
Businesses that need to comply as per FSSAI
Any Business in the F&B Industry and in Restaurants and Food Services who sell packaged fruit & vegetable products need to fulfil the packaging criteria laid out by FSSAI. Here are some of the businesses that are eligible to comply:
- Fruit based beverage manufacturers
- Canned fruit and vegetable brands
- Bottled vegetable and fruit juices
- Brands that manufacture crushes, squashes, barley waters and pulps
- Fruit product brands manufacturing jams, jellies, preserves and marmalades
- Vegetable based products like pickles, tomato ketchup and sauce brands
- Dried fruit and vegetable products, candied fruit and peel brands
Recommended packaging material for fruit and vegetable products include paper, wood or cardboard.
What’s in it for me?
Packaging is important in the F&B industry since attractive packaging influences consumer demand. The benefits of safe, secure and hygienic packaging are immense for small businesses. Invest in high-quality packaging if you are a new F&B business. Don’t cut corners or compromise on packaging costs. Comply with the FSSAI norms to protect your food products during storage and transportation so that it reaches the consumer intact.
Using recommended packaging material and following safety and hygiene norms will ensure that your food is received fresh which will in turn help you score high customer satisfaction points. FSSAI’s regulations are very much in favour of small businesses. Display the FSSAI number and manufacturer information on your packaging to improve transparency between consumers. Complying with FSSAI norms will protect your business against complaints while ensuring that your consumers receive only the best products from you that are safe, healthy and hygienic.