India’s plant-based industry cites new consumer data in battle to ditch ‘dairy’ ban

October 20, 2020 Off By administrator

According to FSSAI, the reason for this ban is due to regulatory vocabulary – namely because current FSSAI regulations define ‘milk’ as the ‘normal mammary secretion derived from complete milking of healthy milch animals’​ and plant-based products are not included in this definition.

“[Based on these regulations,] anything else can not be called milk as per this definition [so even] if any final product is intended to substitute milk, a milk product or composite milk product, a dairy term shall not be used,”​ FSSAI Head (Codex/Regulations) Sunil Bakshi told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“[Such] provisions specifically prohibiting [the] use of any dairy term (including milk) for a product which is not milk or milk product or composite milk product [actually] already exists in our regulations, [and the current proposed restriction] is only a reiteration of what [already exists].”

When queried as to what FSSAI proposes plant-based products in the market use to replace the dairy terms, Bakshi stressed that this nomenclature must be ‘indicative of the dairy analogue’s true nature’​.

“[For example], it may be mentioned here that in the Codex Regional Standard for Non-Fermented Soya Bean Products (CXS 322R-2015), the term ‘beverage’ can be used in the nomenclature of the soya-based product analogous to milk,”​ he said.

This suggestion has not gone down well with the plant-based industry in India – plant-based advocacy body Good Food Institute (GFI) expressed concern that this was likely to not only confuse consumers, but also affect product sales across the board.

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