Home > NEWS > FSSAI forms three expert committees to examine non-food & food ingredients

FSSAI forms three expert committees to examine non-food & food ingredients

26,December, 2020

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has now constituted three expert committees to examine the approval of non-specified foods and food ingredients regulations 2017 among other things.
In order to fast track the scrutiny of applications in a time-bound manner, the competent authority has approved the formation of the three expert committees to examine all the applications. These committees, according to the FSSAI note, are expected to meet at frequent intervals to facilitate speedy clearances of applications.
On the key objective of the three expert groups, industry experts noted that it was much wanted especially when food processing companies were using new ingredients or a new food not known in India or an extract or herb coming from abroad which might not have safety data and come under the category of non-specified foods for which standards have not been given in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The food ingredients could be flavour, colour, additives, stabilisers, preservatives, stated industry experts.
“In the wake of so many regulations prescribing standards and the way things have to be done under the Food Safety and Standards Act had been put in place during various periods of time. Regulations for primary ingredient, additives, residues, milk and milk products, oil products including nutraceuticals and functional foods are standards and not just specification which means the way a type of food product would be regulated. Therefore an expert committee comprising three groups will enable assessment of applications in an efficient and time-bound manner,” they added.
Now these expert members depending on the food category in which the application is received could invite the Chairman of the concerned Scientific Panel as and when required.
The first Expert Committee comprises Prof. H P Sachdev, senior consultant, paediatrics and clinical epidemiology; Sita Ram Bharatia, Science and Research, New Delhi; Dr Suman Kapur, Dean, International Programmes and Collaborations, BITS, Pilani, Hyderabad campus; Prof. R K Khar, principal (retd), pharmaceutical scientist, BS Anangpuria Institute of Pharmacy, Faridabad; Dr Lalitha Gowda, former chief scientist, CFTRI; and Dr Supriya Bhalerao, Ayurveda, Interactive School of Research for Health Affairs (IRSHA), Bharati Vidyapeeth, deemed to be University, Pune.
Another Expert Committee has Dr Bikas Medhi, Professor, Pharmacology, PGI, Chandigarh; Dr V Kalaiselvan, Principal Scientific Officer, Indian Pharmacopeia Commission; Dr K Madhavan Nair, former scientist, Micronutrient Research Group, Department of Biophysics, National Institute of Nutrition, (ICMR), Hyderabad; Dr R K Marwaha, Scientific Advisor, endocrinology, International Life Sciences  Institute, India, and Advisor, Project, Department of Endocrinology, AIIMS, New Delhi; and Dr Balkumar Marthi, former scientist in biological research, including food and nutrition, besides expertise in human studies, claims substantiation, analysis, GMP and HACCP.
Expert Committee 3 is represented by Dr D B A Anantha Narayana, expert member (retd), Indian Pharmacopeia Commission; Dr Renuka Munshi, professor, BYL Nair Hospital; Dr Prema Ramachandra, director, Nutrition Foundation of India; Dr Dheeraj Shah, Professor of Paediatrics, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; and Dr B Dinesh Kumar, Scientist- F and HoD, Department of Toxicology, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.
The FSSAI has also provided Terms of Reference where the Expert Committee will need to undertake preliminary risk assessment of the applications under non-specified foods and food ingredients. The experts can seek clarification from FSSAI before granting approval and also could reject applications.
If need be, the Expert Committee could also refer the application to the concerned Scientific Panel for further safety evaluation or any other expert or institution for scientific opinion, according to Dr N Bhaskar, Advisor, Safety & Standards, FSSAI.

Categories: NEWS
%d bloggers like this: