Bringing India in line with the developed world, all processed food made or sold in India will have to carry nutritional labelling from March 19, health minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Wednesday. "Apart from a list of ingredients and the weight, it will become mandatory to list nutrition information, including total calories (energy value), amounts of protein, carbohydrate, fat, sodium (salt), sugars, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Labels will also have to list the amount of trans fat," said Ramadoss at a conference. Artery-clogging trans fats are used extensively in processed food to extend shelf life and preserve flavour.
Health secretary Naresh Dayal said the food-processing industry has had time to conform to the new packaging requirements. "The manufacturers were given six months to comply with the new labelling requirements, as required by WTO regulations.
The six-month deadline gets over on March 19, so manufacturers have to comply by March 19," Dayal told Hindustan Times.