1. What is Product Approval?
Product Approval is essentially processing which a Food Product is approved by FSSAI. These products have ingredient(s) and/or additives which are not according to the prescribed standards in the Food Safety and Standards Act.
2. What is a No Objection Certificate(NOC)?
In the FSSAI product Approval procedure, a NOC is essentially the Interim Permission to place product (s) / additives/ ingredients on the Market.
When does a Food Business Operator (FBO) need to acquire a Food Product Approval?
An FBO needs a FSSAI product approval when the food products or their ingredients contain additives/ supplements which have not been specified in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
3. What is the procedure of the renewal of NOC?
The NOC for FSSAI product approval is valid for a time period of 1 year. This NOC will be sent to the scientific community/ panel for an assessment. Based on the positive results of the assessment, NOC can be extended further after a proper application and specified fees are submitted to the FSSAI’s Central Branch.
4. If I change the composition of my products eg. Glucose 25% to 20 %, Do I need to file for approval again?
Yes, barring only cases where FSS regulations specify otherwise.
5. Does every product with a flavour change or slight change in composition require a Product Approval?
Yes, every product which has varying ingredients and/or additives needs a separate product approval.
6. Do I need separate Product approval for products with the same composition but different names?
No, as long as the label claims are the same.
7. What are Traditional/Ethnic Foods?
Ethnic foods are those which are consumed locally in and across the country.
8. Do I need a Product Approval for Ethnic Foods?
The traditional/ ethnic foods mentioned in the regulation 3.1.1. (2) of Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 namely, –Snacks of Savouries (Fried Products), such as Chiwda, Bhujia, Dalmoth, Kadubale, Kharaboondi, Spiced and fried dals, banana chips and similar fried products sold by any name, Sweets,
Carbohydrates based and Milk product based, such as Halwa, Mysore Pak, Boondi Ladoo, Jalebi, Khoya Burfi, Peda, Gulab Jamun, Rasogolla and similar milk product based sweets sold by any name
Instant Mixes Powders only of Idli mix, dosa mix, puliyogare mix, Pongal mix, Gulab jamoon mix, Jalebi mix, vada mix, Rice and Pulses based Papads, Ready-to-Serve Beverages (tea/coffee based only) are not required to get product approval, provided it contains food additives permitted in Table 2 of Appendix A of Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
9. If a Proprietary ingredient is added to a standard product, Does it also become a proprietary Product?
Yes, the final product becomes a proprietary food and will need a separate product approval.
10. Can the application for NOC/Product approval be considered for any other aspect besides ingredient safety?
The Product Approval committee examines the safety of the ingredient and grants NOC on the basis of satisfaction of overall product safety for consumption.
In case there are label claims, declarations, advertisement claims, nutritional information of the products associated with such products, the committee reviews the application for FSSI product approval with regards to :
- Listing of ingredients
- Nutrient Value
- Impact on food safety
- Claims related to new ingredients
11. How will I get to know the status of my Product Approval application?
The status of the application is sent via Speed Post within a time frame 10 days.
12. What is the status of the NOC if the panel has rejected an application for product approval?
If the panel has refused to provide the Food Business Operator with a product approval for the additives/ food ingredient(s) before or even after the validity of the NOC, the FBO is obligated to stop the manufacture /import of such food products with immediate effect.
FBO also needs to recall any product they have in the market if any.
13. Do food products for export purpouse require Product Approval?
The product approval is required for the manufacturing of food products by 100% EOI units which sell and distribute a part of the food products domestically.
Further, the units covered under the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as defined by the Ministry of Commerce are not required to apply for the product approval.