Packaged Food: About the Star-rating
- The star-ratings have been mandated under Food Safety and Standards (Labelling & Display) Regulations, 2020.
- Objective: The front-of-pack labeling of stars aim to discourage consumers from buying Packaged Food high in sugar, salt, and fat.
- The star graphic, ranging for 0 to 5, will be placed next to the name of the brand.
- Methodology of Star Rating:
- The unhealthiest Packaged Food items will carry a 0.5-star rating and the healthiest carry a 5-star rating under the ‘Indian Nutrition Rating (INR)’.
- More stars indicate the Packaged Food has higher contribution for daily human need of nutrients.
- Items will be given scores based on contribution of energy and content of saturated fat, sodium, sugar, fruit and vegetables (FV), nuts, legumes, and millets (NLM), dietary fibre, and protein content per 100 gm of solid or 100 ml liquid foods.
- Solid Packaged Food having a score of more than 25 will be given 0.5 stars and those with a score less than – (minus) 11 will be given 5 stars.
- Authority to Publish Ratings:
- Food businesses have to submit nutritional profiles of the products on FSSAI’s FoSCoS (Food Safety Compliance System) portal to generate star-rating.
- Exempted Packaged Foods:
- Food such as milk and milk products, whey, butter oil, ghee, vegetable oil and fat, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, fresh and frozen meat, egg, fish, flour, and sweeteners are exempted from star-rating.
- Carbonated beverages without any energy or sugar are not eligible to display star-rating.
Packaged Food: Criticism of Star-rating:
- Warning system: Health experts believe that a warning symbol on foods high in sugar, salt, and fat are more likely to discourage people from consuming them instead of a star rating.
- Better Alternatives: An analysis of multiple studies has shown that nutrient warning labels are more effective than traffic lights and nutri-scrore labels.
- Chile reported a 24% drop in sugary drink consumption after several Latin American countries implemented such warning labels.
Packaged Food: Types of label schemes
Packaged Food: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is a statutory body under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
- It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- Functions: FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food and Packaged Food safety.
- Framing regulations to lay down food safety standards
- Laying guidelines for accreditation of laboratories for food testing
- Providing scientific advice and technical support to the Union Government
- Contributing to the development of international technical standards in food
- Collecting and analyzing data regarding food consumption, contamination, emerging risks, etc.
- Spreading information and promoting awareness about food safety and nutrition in India.