In a bid to ensure good quality of Ayurveda food products, Ministry of Ayush and the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) have formulated regulations of safety and quality standards for food products under ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ category. The FSSAI is India’s apex body for food regulation. According to a statement issued by the ministry, this comprehensive initiative will also help expand the international market for Make-In-India products.
“The Ministry of Ayush is confident these regulations will further strengthen India’s global positioning as a custodian of the Ayush system,” the statement said.
According to the new regulations formulated, manufacturing and marketing of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ products will now adhere to strict Food Safety and Standards (Ayurveda Aahara) Regulations, 2022, rules. Also, these products will be available in market only after licence/approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
A special logo has been created for “Ayurveda Aahara” category, which will enable easier identification and reinforce quality in Ayurveda food products.
“The Ministry of Ayush with an understanding that food safety and quality is a shared responsibility between manufacturers and consumers, and everyone has a role to play to ensure food we consume is safe and healthy. This has been further strengthened after resurgence of COVID-19 pandemic brought the focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability,” the statement noted.
According to the regulations, all food prepared in accordance with the recipes/ingredients/processes described in the authoritative books of Ayurveda will be considered as “Ayurveda Aahara”. Food recipes and ingredients for promoting health, specific physiological needs, and foods specified for consumption during or post specified diseases, disorders referred as Pathya in Ayurveda are covered under these regulations.
The labelling of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ shall specify the intended purpose, the target consumer group, recommended duration of use and other specific requirements, the statement said.
Health claims and disease risk reduction claims for the different categories of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ and their approval process shall be in accordance with the requirements specified in regulations. However, ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ will not include Ayurvedic drugs or proprietary Ayurvedic medicines and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances and herbs, the statement said. Further, ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ is also not recommended to young children below two years of age.
‘Ayurveda Aahara’ needs prior approval, the same shall be in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specific Food and Food Ingredients) Regulation, 2017, the statement stated.
The FSSAI will constitute an expert committee under the Ministry of Ayush consisting of relevant experts, including representatives of FSSAI, for providing recommendation on approval of claims and products and the committee shall also empower to address concerns regarding registration or licensing or certification or laboratory accreditation or testing or quality issues related to ‘Ayurveda Aahara’.