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India food safety regulator has directed e-commerce platforms to accurately classify products listed as health and energy drinks on their websites.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said the move is aimed at enhancing clarity and transparency about the nature and functional benefits of these products. This initiative is to help consumers make informed decisions and avoid misinformation, the regulator said.

The advisory was issued following observations by the FSSAI of products like dairy-based beverage mixes, cereal-based beverage mixes, or malt-based beverages being inaccurately categorized as ‘health drinks’ or ‘energy drinks’ on e-commerce sites.

“FSSAI has advised all e-commerce food business operators or FBOs (food business operators) to promptly rectify this misclassification by removing or de-linking such drinks or beverages from the category of ‘health drinks’ or ‘energy drinks’ on their websites and place such products in the appropriate category as provided under the extant law,” it said in a statement.

The authority also clarified that the term ‘health drink’ lacks a definition or standardization under the FSS Act 2006 or its subsequent rules and regulations.

Additionally, the use of term ‘energy’ drinks is restricted to products officially licensed under the Food Category System (FCS) codes 14.1.4.1 and 14.1.4.2, which pertain to carbonated and non-carbonated water-based flavoured drinks. These are standardized under sub-regulation 2.10.6 (2) of the Food Product Standards and Food Additives Regulations 2011, specifically for caffeinated beverages.

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Published: 02 Apr 2024, 07:58 PM IST

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