FSSAI: Stevia can’t be used in cocoa & chocolate products and imitation chocolate

The food authority has said that ‘steviol glycoside -Stevia’ cannot be used in ‘cocoa and chocolate products’ and ‘imitation chocolate’. Citing FSS Regulations, FSSAI has added that stevia cannot be used in such products till any decision in this regard is made by the authority.

The food businesses were also asked to ensure that such products are not manufactured or sold in the market or e-commerce platforms.

“It is to inform that at present ‘steviol glycoside (INS 960)’ as an additive is not permitted for use in ‘Cocoa and Chocolate products’ (FCS 5.1.3) and ‘Imitation chocolate, chocolate substitute products’ (FCS 5.1.4) as per extant FSS (Food Product Standards & Food Additives) Regulations,
2011,” reads FSSAI’s direction into the subject.

According to the FSSAI, as per the amendment in Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specific Food and Food Ingredients) Regulations, 2017, application for approval is considered for the ‘Food Additives’ that are ‘not listed in Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSR)’.

“Since, ‘steviol glycoside’ is permitted as an additive in other food categories such as Dairy-based drinks, Powder analogues, Dairy-based desserts, Edible ices, Canned or bottled (pasteurised) fruit etc., the Food Business Operators (FBOs) cannot seek approval as ‘Non-Specified Food/Food Ingredient/Food Additive’ under FSS (Approval for Non-Specific Food and Food Ingredients) Regulations, 2017,” reads the statement issued by the FSSAI. 

FSSAI has also directed the state food safety authorities to take note of the provisions with respect to stevia and ensure necessary action.

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