The central government on Thursday said that food prepared using Ayurvedic ingredients would now be regulated under the ‘Ayurveda Ahar’ (Ayurveda Food) department.
The Ministry of AYUSH and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), India’s apex body for food control, have formulated safety and quality regulations for food products under the Department of Ayurveda Diet.
According to the regulations, the production and marketing of ‘Ayurveda Ahara’ products will now comply with the strict Food Safety and Standards (Ayurveda Ahara) Regulations, 2022 and will be available in the market only after license / approval from FSSAI. A special logo has been created for the section “Ayurveda Ahara”, which will enable easy identification and strengthening of the quality of Ayurveda food products.
The initiative, the government said, will ensure the production of quality Ayurvedic food products and help expand the international market for Make-in-India products. The government has said that these regulations will further strengthen India’s global position as the custodian of the AYUSH system.
“The Ministry of AYUSH understands that food safety and quality is a shared responsibility among manufacturers, consumers and everyone has a role to play in ensuring that the food we eat is safe and healthy. The resurgence of the Kovid-19 epidemic has intensified with a focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability, “the ministry said in a statement.
Further, all foods prepared according to the recipes / ingredients / process described in the authentic books of Ayurveda will be considered as “Ayurveda food”. Health, specific physiological needs and the recipes and ingredients of food to be eaten during or after certain diseases, the ailments referred to as diet in Ayurveda are covered under this regulation.
The government has said that the label ‘Ayurveda Ahara’ will specify the specific purpose, target consumer group, proposed duration of use and other specific requirements. The health claims and disease risk reduction demands for different sections of ‘Ayurveda Diet’ and the process of approving them will be in accordance with the requirements mentioned in the regulations. However, the ‘Ayurveda Diet’ will not include Ayurvedic medicines or proprietary Ayurvedic medicines and medicinal products, cosmetics, drugs or psychotropic substances and herbs. Also, Ayurveda diet is not recommended for children under 2 years of age.
‘Ayurveda Diet’ requires pre-approval, it will be in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specific Foods and Food Ingredients) Regulations, 2017. FSSAI will form an expert committee under the Ministry of AYUSH consisting of relevant experts. The Committee, with representatives from FSSAI, will be empowered to address concerns regarding registration or licensing or certification or laboratory accreditation or testing or quality issues related to “Ayurveda Ahara” to make claims and product approval recommendations.
Food business operators to comply with quality parameters for ingredients in accordance with the standards defined under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, relevant BIS specifications.