Stricter regulations to ensure quality of Ayurveda-based food products

Comprehensive regulations for Ayurveda food products aim at strengthening India’s position as a custodian of Ayush system across the world.

 In a move that would ensure manufacturing of quality Ayurveda food products and help in expanding the international market for Make-In-India products, the Ministry of Ayush, along with the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has ushered in a set of comprehensive regulations. The regulations aim at strengthening India’s position as a custodian of Ayush system across the world.

The new initiative would make manufacturing and marketing of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ products strictly adhere to the Food Safety and Standards (Ayurveda Aahara) Regulations, 2022 rules. This would mean that the food products under the Ayurveda category would be released to the marketplace only after approval from FSSAI.

Besides, the government will also make sure that a special logo for Ayurveda Aahara category will be in force, making it easier to identify and reinforce quality in Ayurveda food products.

Food prepared in accordance with Ayurveda scriptures

The realisation that food safety and quality is a shared responsibility between manufacturers, consumers, the Ministry of Ayush believes that everyone has a role to play to ensure that the food consumed is safe and healthy. This has been further strengthened after resurgence of Covid-19, which brought added focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability.

Going by the regulations, all food prepared in accordance with the recipes, ingredients and 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.

Meanwhile, through the labelling of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’, the intended purpose, the target consumer group, recommended duration of use and other specific requirements would be specified. An Ayush Ministry communication said that 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.

Ayurveda Aahara not to include Ayurvedic drugs

However, it has also added that ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ will not include Ayurvedic drugs or proprietary Ayurvedic medicines and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances and herbs. Further, Ayurveda Aahara is also not recommended to young children below age 2 years, it has been clarified.

The new regime would make sure that ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ would needs prior approval, and it shall be in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specific Food and Food Ingredients) Regulation, 2017. The Ministry said that FSSAI shall 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’.

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